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Kirkpatrick on Yahoo Earnings Report: The Money Will Come

With Marissa Mayer at the helm, Yahoo has been gunning hard for a financial turnaround, investing in software redesigns, focusing on mobile and media, and making eight acquisitions in the third quarter alone. But are all of Mayer’s efforts paying off? According to Yahoo’s quarterly earnings, reported Tuesday, the answer is not yet.

Yahoo’s third-quarter net revenue, excluding traffic acquisition costs, came in at $1.08 billion, down 1 percent from a year ago, but matching analyst forecasts. Earnings came in at 34 cents per share, also down from a year ago, but modestly exceeding expectations by a cent. While these figures may not indicate company growth, Mayer says Yahoo’s online user numbers do. With a reported 800 million monthly unique users—up 20 percent since Mayer joined Yahoo about 15 months ago—the company expects traffic increases to translate into real revenue gains.

But when?

Techonomy’s David Kirkpatrick appeared on Bloomberg’s “Taking Stock” on Tuesday to talk about Yahoo’s financial outlook. “It’s the classic model of … the money will come,” he said. “I think the money hasn’t come in the way that a lot of people would like, but she has righted the ship and steadied it. It’s a matter of turning up the gas a little bit.”

While it’s clear Yahoo has a long road ahead of it, Kirkpatrick said Mayer is acutely aware of the challenges she faces—namely those challenges imposed by today’s rapidly shifting market that demands more than just high-quality products to succeed. Yahoo’s struggles, Kirkpatrick added, are “emblematic” of the changing world of business, and thinking about and understanding these changes is becoming increasingly important. It’s this philosophy that’s central to Techonomy.

“We believe everything’s changing at extraordinary speed and leaders need to think harder about it. Marissa understands that deeply,” Kirkpatrick said of Mayer, who spoke at the Techonomy conference in 2011.

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