A year into Carol Bartz’s tenure as Yahoo CEO, things — just maybe — are getting a little less bad at Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO). Sure, the company posted a decline in net revenue for the fifth quarter in a row. But the 9 percent drop was an improvement over the 15 percent fall a quarter ago and results were in line with expectations. For the quarter, Yahoo said net revenue was $1.25 billion, down from $1.38 billion during the same period a year ago; analysts had been expecting revenue of $1.23 billion. EPS was $0.11, down from $0.17 during the fourth quarter of 2008; analysts had expected EPS of $0.11.
Noteworthy: The company says it expects to finally post year-over-year revenue growth during the first quarter of the year. And in a an ironic twist, Yahoo said it had spent $32 million in advisory and retention fees related to its search deal with Microsoft; (NSDQ: MSFT) Yahoo had previously spent at least $22 million during the summer of 2008 fending off Microsoft’s overtures.
— Search: Yahoo’s search revenue tumbled 15 percent. That, however, was an improvement over the 19 percent decline the company posted a quarter ago.
— Display: Display ad revenues fell by only one percent during the third quarter. That was a significant improvement, since Yahoo had posted a drop of 8 percent during the third quarter and some analysts had expected a 10 percent decline.