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Yahoo Q3: Earnings Double on Flat Revenue

Listing portal reports net income of $396 million, up from $186 million in Q3 last year

Yahoo reported a 2 percent rise in third-quarter revenue and a 107 percent increase in profit Tuesday.

Excluding revenue-sharing agreements related to traffic acquisition, revenue was $1.13 billion, meeting Wall Street expectations.

The portal touted 18 percent year-to-year growth in display advertising and a 4 percent uptick in page views.

With revenue growth remaining stagnant, CEO Carol Bartz asked for patience from Wall Street Tuesday, while outlining a flurry of recent moves intended to push the income bar higher.

"We've made substantial progress this year toward executing our strategies for enhancing profitability and resuming revenue growth, Bartz told investors. "Margins are expanding; owned and operated display advertising is up 18 percent so far this year; product rollouts are accelerating thanks to modernization of our underlying platforms; and we continue to implement our search alliance with Microsoft on schedule." 

She also noted that Yahoo! has ditched "non-core" assets while acquiring Associated Content and Citizen Sports, as well as partnerships with Facebook, Twitter and Zynga.

However, the company faces plenty of uncertainty, starting with recently debunked reports that it may soon be acquired by AOL and a group of private investors. 

In addition to a recent rash of top-executive departures, there have been reports that Yahoo has hired Goldman Sachs to handle takeover approaches.

On a conference call with analysts Tuesday afternoon, Bartz recapped the changes made during her 21 months on the job, and re-iterated her goal of enhancing user engagement in order to stem a years-long trend of decelerating growth.

Touting moves made to reduce redundancies, break down silos and replace obsolete software platforms, Bartz said the company needs more time to manifest her growth initiatives.

"First you walk, then you run, then you fly," she said.

Here's the company's third-quarter earnings release:

SUNNYVALE, California, October 19, 2010 – Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) today reported results for the quarter ended September 30, 2010.

Revenue was $1,601 million for the third quarter of 2010, a two percent increase from the third quarter of 2009. Income from operations for the third quarter of 2010 was $189 million, an increase of 107 percent year over year. Excluding restructuring charges of $17 million in the third quarter of 2009 and $6 million in the third quarter of 2010, income from operations increased 80 percent year over year.

Net earnings per diluted share for the third quarter of 2010 was $0.29, compared to $0.13 in the third quarter of 2009, a 126 percent increase. Net earnings per diluted share for the third quarter of 2010 included a benefit of $0.13 per diluted share related to the gain on sale of HotJobs, and net earnings per diluted share for the third quarter of 2009 included a benefit of $0.04 per diluted share related to the gain on sale of our direct investment in Alibaba.com. 

“We delivered a solid quarter with good display advertising revenue growth, big gains in operating income, and margins that were double what they were last year,” said Carol Bartz, president and CEO of Yahoo!. “Because we recognize the tremendous value of our assets, we also dramatically stepped up our stock repurchases. We’ve now bought back more than 7% of the company’s stock this year alone.”