- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 17, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Yahoo’s first-quarter results showed signs of modest progress under recently hired CEO Scott Thompson.

The long-struggling Internet company said Tuesday that it earned $286 million, or 23 cents per share, during the first three months of the year. 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.

Revenue totaled $1.22 billion, an increase of less than 1 percent from the same time last year. Still, that slight uptick represented a breakthrough for Yahoo because the company’s revenue has been steadily falling for years.

“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.

After subtracting commission paid to its advertising partners, Yahoo’s revenue worked out to $1.08 billion, also up slightly from last year. It marked the first time since the third quarter of 2008 that Yahoo’s quarterly net revenue has increased from the previous year.

Thompson, Yahoo’s CEO since January, is trying to boost earnings by shedding $375 million in expenses. The cost-cutting move includes 2,000 layoffs, reducing Yahoo’s work force by 14 percent.

Thompson also told analysts in a Tuesday conference call that he won’t be satisfied until Yahoo’s revenue is growing as quickly as the overall online advertising market. Yahoo remains a long way from achieving that goal. During the first quarter, the U.S. online ad market increased 23 percent from the same period a year ago, according to the research firm eMarketer.

Yahoo shares gained 38 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $15.39 in Tuesday’s extended trading.