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As Yahoo moves closer to death, earnings beat expectations but the Verizon deal has been further delayed

Investigations into its massive data breach continue to cloud the company’s $4.8 billion acquisition by Verizon.

Business Leaders Speak At Fortune Global Forum In San Francisco
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer
Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Yahoo turned in what might pass for an impressive beat of Wall Street expectations, earning 25 cents a share on $1.47 billion in revenue. Analysts had expected the company would report adjusted earnings of 21 cents on revenue of $1.38 billion.

While the company showed largely downward trends all over its advertising and search businesses, this was a small bit of good news for CEO Marissa Mayer. That is, except for a new government investigation into Yahoo’s massive data breach, a disaster of management which has slowed the closing of the sale of the company’s core assets to Verizon and could mean a discounted price in the $4.8 billion deal.

So it was no surprise that Yahoo said it anticipates that the Verizon deal would close in the second quarter, which is a delay from what was first announced last year.

“I'm very pleased with our Q4 results and incredibly proud of the team’s execution on our 2016 strategic plan, particularly given the uniquely eventful past year for Yahoo,” said Mayer, in a very big understatement. Yahoo, as most know, has been Silicon Valley's longest-running traffic accident, as a parade of execs have tried to revive its waning fortunes to no avail.

So good for Mayer for giving investors a nice upside surprise in what is expected to be one of its last quarters as a public company.

She also strained to ensure that all was well at Yahoo with regard to security of user accounts, which have proven to be pretty insecure.

"In addition to integration planning, our top priority continues to be enhancing security for our users," said Mayer in a statement. "With security protocols and password changes in place, approximately 90 percent of our daily active users have already taken or do not need to take remedial action to protect their accounts, and we're aggressively continuing to drive this number up."

We’ll see about why that did not happen soon enough, as the many investigations taking place — along with the Securities and Exchange Commission, both the Yahoo board and Verizon are doing look-sees of their own — gather steam. Whether they can figure out what happened, who knew what and more is to be determined.

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