- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 19, 2011

SUNNYVALE, CALIF. (AP) - Yahoo first-quarter earnings turned out better than analysts expected as online display advertising sales picked up.

The results released Tuesday could help Yahoo Inc. CEO Carol Bartz persuade skeptical investors that the company is headed in the right direction after years of aimlessness.

The company earned $223 million, or 17 cents share, for the first three months of the year. That’s a 28 percent decline from $310 million, or 22 cents per share, a year ago.

Excluding unusual gains and charges in both periods, though, Yahoo’s earnings would have increased by 4 cents per share compared with last year.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected earnings of 16 cents per share.

Revenue fell 24 percent to $1.21 billion. The big decline stemmed from a search partnership with Microsoft Corp.

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