San Francisco Internet giant Yahoo Inc.'s fourth-quarter profit nearly tripled and easily beat Wall Street expectations, reflecting a worldwide boom in online advertising and capping a year of solid financial results.
The e-commerce giant, which operates the world's most popular Internet destination, said Tuesday it earned $373 million, or 25 cents per share, for the three months ended Dec. 31.
Excluding profits from the sale of some investments, the company earned $187 million, or 13 cents per share, up 149 percent from $75 million or 5 cents per share in the same quarter of 2003.
Analysts expected the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Internet portal to earn 11 cents per share.
Revenue for the fourth quarter totaled $1.078 billion, a 62 percent increase from 2003.
After subtracting commissions paid to some of its advertising partners, Yahoo's revenue fell to $785 million in the final quarter of 2004 -- still 54 percent more than the fourth quarter of 2003 and substantially higher than the $756.14 million analysts had expected.
Yahoo earned $840 million, 58 cents per share, in 2004. Excluding special items, such as a windfall from selling stock in Google Inc., Yahoo earned $526 million, or 36 cents per share, compared to $238 million, or 18 cents per share in 2003.
Yahoo's shares gained 48 cents to close at $37.18 on the Nasdaq Stock Market, then climbed another 40 cents in extended trading.