Yahoo cutting jobs, costs after matching first-quarter estimates

Yahoo, second to Google in online searches, said it will cut jobs by 5 percent and seek other ways to bring down costs because of slower advertising sales.

"Yahoo is not immune to the ongoing economic downturn," Carol Bartz, Yahoo chief executive officer, said in the company's earnings release today. The company experienced "pressure in both display and search advertising" in the first quarter, she said.

Yahoo, which will cut 600 to 700 jobs, matched analyst estimates in the last quarter, ended March 31, and sees higher sales in the current quarter, which ends in June.

Sunnyvale, California-based Yahoo said first quarter net income fell 78 percent to $118.7 million, or 8 cents a share, from $536.8 million, or 37 cents a share a year ago. Last year's result was helped by a $401 million gain. The first quarter profit number matches the 8 cents analysts were expecting, according to the average estimates of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

Sales of $1.16 billion in Yahoo's first quarter compares with the average analyst estimate of $1.2 billion.

The company gave its outlook for the current quarter, which is 2009's second quarter.

Yahoo sees sales in the range of $1.43 billion to $1.63 billion for the second quarter. That compares with the $1.64 billion estimate of Christa Quarles, an analyst with Thomas Weisel Partners LLC in San Francisco., according to Bloomberg News.

"We've had more or less an advertising recession," Larry Haverty, a portfolio manager at Gamco Investors, which owns 1.7 million shares of Yahoo's stock, told Bloomberg Television in a interview today. "What's encouraging right now is you can see where the bottom is."

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