Updated from 10:39 a.m. ET

U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray

reduced its first-quarter earnings and revenue estimates on

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

this morning, citing persisting sluggish demand and longer sales cycles.

Shares of Yahoo! recently rose 50 cents, or 2.1%, to $23.94 in

Nasdaq

trading.

The firm's analyst, Safa Rashtchy, cut his first-quarter earnings per share estimate by 2 cents to 6 cents, and lowered his revenue projection by about $11 million to $229 million. According to

First Call/Thomson Financial

, analysts on average expect first-quarter earnings of 5 cents a share, down from 10 cents a share in the year-ago period, as well as revenue of $226.9 million, compared with $228.4 million last year.

"The adjustments are not major but we believe given these conditions it is more likely for Yahoo to come in the middle of the guidance range rather than the top end," Rashtchy said. He kept his neutral rating on the Santa Clara, Calif., Internet portal.