Results show improvement for Yahoo

Scott ThompsonYahoo's first-quarter results showed signs of progress that may help boost the credibility of recently hired chief executive Scott Thompson as he tries to turn around the long-sputtering internet company.

The strides announced were small compared with the huge gains that rivals such as Google and Facebook have been reaping as advertisers shift more of their budgets to the internet.
Nevertheless, Yahoo's showing for the first three months of the year included an elusive breakthrough.

The company's revenue increased from the prior year for the first time since the US economy was sinking into the depths of the Great Recession in the autumn of 2008.

It broke a streak of 13 consecutive quarterly declines in Yahoo's net revenue - the amount of money that the company keeps after paying commissions to its ad partners.

"We still have a lot of work to do, but it's an important milestone for us," said Tim Morse, Yahoo's chief financial officer..

Yahoo's earnings also rose in the first quarter, but that is not a new phenomenon. The company's net income had also been rising under Mr Thompson's predecessor, tough-talking Carol Bartz, mostly because of cost cutting.

But Ms Bartz never could produce a year-over-year increase in Yahoo's quarterly revenue before she was fired last September. Yahoo lured Mr Thompson away from eBay's online payment service, PayPal, three months ago.

In Mr Thompson's first full quarter as chief executive, Yahoo earned 286 million US dollars, or 23 cents per share. That represented a 28% increase from net income of 223 million US dollars, or 17 cents per share, at the same time last year.

The earnings for this year's quarter exceeded the average estimate of 17 cents per share among analysts surveyed by FactSet.

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