Yahoo earnings: It could be worse

The good news for Yahoo is that it beat Wall Street's expectations. It also highlighted in its earnings release that it created a very successful landing page for all varieties of information about Prince William's wedding.

Caroline McCarthy Former Staff writer, CNET News
Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.
Caroline McCarthy
Caroline McCarthy/CNET

This is a story we've most definitely seen before: Yahoo managed to beat Wall Street's expectations in its quarterly earnings, but that's mostly because expectations for the beleaguered technology company were so low to begin with.

In its 2011 first-quarter earnings, reported today, Yahoo revenue was $1.06 billion, a 6 percent decrease from last year, but earnings per share (excluding special items) was 19 cents per share, up from 15 cents in the first quarter of 2010 and exceeding Wall Street analysts' estimate of 16 cents.

Yahoo continues to attempt a difficult turnaround under the tenure of CEO Carol Bartz, and in the past few months has tried to focus operations by merging and shutting down a number of properties that had lost popularity or never gained traction in the first place.

Among the "business highlights" named in today's earnings release: its "digital newsstand" experiment, called Livestand; its new Search Direct technology to improve the speed and quality of search results; and, um, its landing page for the inexplicably popular royal wedding of the U.K.'s Prince William and fiancee Kate Middleton. The release said that Yahoo is "bringing together the best of the Web to celebrate the royal couple."

Unfortunately for Yahoo, the royal wedding is next week, which means it probably won't have much of an impact on the company's second-quarter earnings.