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What earnings reports have revealed about ads

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:

Jan. 19: Google Inc.’s fourth-quarter earnings report shows that the Internet search leader fetched less money per click on its ubiquitous online ads. That came as an unsettling surprise because investors had assumed a surge in online holiday shopping in the U.S. would enable Google Inc. to charge more for its ads. Instead, the average price decreased by 8 percent from the same time in 2010.

Microsoft Corp. reduces losses in its online services division, which includes the ad-supported Bing search engine. It lost $458 million in the latest quarter, down 18 percent from a loss of $559 million a year earlier. Revenue grew 10 percent to $784 million.

Tuesday: Yahoo Inc. says that after subtracting advertising commissions, revenue totaled $1.17 billion. That was $20 million below analyst projections. It’s the 13th straight quarter that Yahoo’s net revenue has declined from the prior year. Yahoo predicted its net revenue in the first quarter will range from $1.02 billion to $1.1 billion. The mid-point of that target works out to $1.06 billion, unchanged from last year’s first quarter.

Coming up:

Jan. 30: Gannett Co.

Feb. 1: IAC/InterActiveCorp, AOL Inc.

Feb. 2: Viacom Inc., The New York Times Co.

Feb. 7: Walt Disney Co., McClatchy Co.

Feb. 8: Time Warner Inc.

Feb. 15: Comcast Corp., CBS Corp.

Feb. 24: The Washington Post Co., Interpublic Group of Cos.

Unknown: Omnicom Group Inc., WPP Group PLC, News Corp.

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