What earnings reports have revealed about ads

Associated Press Modified: November 15, 2012 at 10:15 am •  Published: November 15, 2012
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Companies that sell advertising have released earnings reports for the latest quarter. Here are highlights of recent quarterly earnings reports from selected Internet and media companies and what they say about the state of spending on advertising.

— Oct. 15: Gannett Co. reports higher net income and revenue, helped by strong gains in political and Olympics-related advertising.

— Oct. 16: Advertising and marketing company Omnicom Group Inc. reports nearly flat earnings and revenue compared with a year earlier, as U.S. revenue grew but international revenue declined.

— Oct. 17: Television and digital media company Media General Inc. says its third-quarter net loss widened because of higher expenses, but revenue grew sharply thanks to an increase in political advertising and the Olympics.

— Oct. 18: Google Inc. says ad revenue rose 16 percent from the same time last year, the slowest pace in three years. The company's ad revenue had climbed by at least 21 percent in each of the previous 10 quarters. As has been the case for the past year, the average prices companies pay Google for ads appearing alongside search results also fell. The decelerating growth in ad revenue is likely being driven by the growing use of smartphones and tablet computers to access the Internet. The ads are more difficult to see on smartphones, in particular, so marketers aren't willing to pay as much.

Microsoft Corp. says revenue in its online services division grew 9 percent to $697 million, while operating loss fell 29 percent to $364 million. Online advertising revenue grew 15 percent to $655 million, with growth in search advertising revenue partly offset by lower revenue from display advertising. Microsoft says search revenue grew because of increased revenue per search and increased volumes.

— Oct. 22: Yahoo Inc. reports net revenue that barely grew at a time when advertisers are spending more money marketing their products and services online. Still, it beat expectations. Net revenue in the latest quarter rose 2 percent to $1.09 billion — about $10 million more than analysts had predicted. Net revenue is the amount of money Yahoo keeps after paying its commission to search partner Microsoft and other sites that run its ads.

— Oct. 23: Facebook Inc. discloses that some 14 percent of its ad revenue came from mobile advertising. It started showing ads to users who access Facebook from their phones and tablet computers about six months ago. Investors have been worried that Facebook isn't taking advantage of its growing mobile user base.

— Oct. 25: The New York Times Co. says advertising revenue fell 9 percent in the third quarter to $182.6 million from $200.5 million a year earlier. The company says it expects fourth-quarter advertising trends to be similar to the third quarter.

WPP Group PLC, the world's largest advertising group, lowers its full-year outlook after not doing as well as expected from the Olympics, the U.S. presidential campaign and the European soccer championships.



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