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Yahoo's 1Q Results Show Progress Under New CEO

MICHAEL LIEDTKE

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) â¿¿ Yahoo's first-quarter results showed signs of progress that may help boost the credibility of recently hired CEO Scott Thompson as he tries to turn around the long-sputtering Internet company.

The strides announced Tuesday were small compared with the huge gains that rivals such as Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. 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 U.S. 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 â¿¿ 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," Tim Morse, Yahoo's chief financial officer, said in an interview.

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

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

In Thompson's first full quarter as CEO, Yahoo earned $286 million, or 23 cents per share. That represented a 28 percent increase from net income of $223 million, 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.

Thompson didn't spend much time crowing about the first-quarter revenue increase, probably because it was such a small gain. Net revenue totaled $1.08 billion, an increase of $13 million, or 1 percent, from the same time last year.

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