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Yahoo's In The Black Again And Says It Should Stay There

It's five consecutive profitable quarters for the Internet portal--and counting.
Yahoo Inc. on Wednesday reported its fifth straight winning quarter and boosted expectations for earnings in the second half. The Internet portal reported net income of $50.8 million, or 8 cents per share, in the second quarter, up from $21.4 million, or 3 cents per share, in the same period last year. Net revenue for the quarter was $321.4 million, a 42% increase over $225.8 million a year ago.

Yahoo also hiked its third-quarter revenue forecast to at least $318 million and increased its estimate for the calendar year to at least $1.26 billion.

The outlook illustrates how far Yahoo has progressed since it hired Hollywood movie exec Terry Semel as its leader two years ago. At the time, Yahoo was struggling--in 2001, the company lost $92.8 million on revenue of $717 million. But after another loss during the first three months of 2002, Yahoo has been profitable ever since.

Semel built the comeback largely on advertisers willing to pay for prominent display in Yahoo's search results, as well as subscribers who've been turning to the Web portal for high-speed Internet access. And the formula is working, contends Semel, who says the numbers show that over the last 18 months, Yahoo's performance has been "stronger and better."