SAN FRANCISCO — Yahoo ushered in Marissa Mayer as its new chief executive with a third-quarter earnings report that topped analyst estimates.
The results announced Monday show Yahoo’s net revenue barely grew at a time when advertisers are spending more money marketing their products and services online.
Nevertheless, the numbers were slightly better than analysts projected. Yahoo Inc. hired Mayer away from rival Google Inc. to orchestrate its latest turnaround attempt in mid-July.
Investors applauded the early progress reflected in Monday’s report. Yahoo shares gained 66 cents, or 4 percent, to $16.41 in extended trading.
The company earned $3.2 billion, or $2.64 per share, during the three months ended in September. Most of that profit stemmed from a one-time gain of $2.8 billion that Yahoo pocketed by selling half its stake in Alibaba Group, one of China’s most successful Internet companies. Yahoo earned $293 million, or 23 cents per share, at the same time last year.
If not for the Alibaba windfall and a restructuring charge, Yahoo said it would have earned 35 cents per share. On that basis, the company topped the average earnings estimate of 26 cents per share among analysts surveyed by FactSet.
Yahoo’s revenue for the quarter totaled $1.2 billion, a 1 percent decrease from last year. But that comparison is misleading because last year’s revenue included revenue that Yahoo no longer books because of an Internet search advertising partnership that diverts some of its ad sales to Microsoft Corp.
Wall Street focuses on net revenue — the amount of money Yahoo keeps after paying commission to Microsoft and other sites that run its ads.
Net revenue in the latest quarter rose 2 percent to $1.09 billion — about $10 million more than analysts had predicted.