(By Balaseshan) Struggling internet company Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) reported an 20.5 percent increase in quarterly adjusted earnings helped by strong growth in its search revenue. Results exceeded Street's expectations, sending its shares up 4.28 percent in aftermarket.
Adjusted earnings grew to $369.58 million or $0.32 per share for the fourth quarter from $306.71 million or $0.25 per share in the year-ago quarter.
Revenue, excluding traffic acquisition costs (TAC), increased 4 percent to $1.221 billion. Excluding TAC, display revenue fell 5 percent, while search revenue grew 14 percent.
Analysts, on average, polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $0.28 per share on revenue of $1.21 billion for the fourth quarter.
For the third quarter of 2012, Yahoo earned 35 cents a share on revenue excluding TAC of $1.089 billion.
The number of ads sold on core Yahoo! Properties decreased about 10 percent for the fourth quarter, while price-per-ad on core Yahoo! Properties increased about 7 percent.
Paid clicks, or the number of clicks on sponsored listings on Yahoo! Properties and Affiliate sites, increased about 11 percent, while price-per-click rose about 1 percent.
Total operating expenses rose 6.9 percent to $1.16 billion.
Cash, cash equivalents, and investments in marketable debt securities were $6 billion at December 31, 2012 compared to $2.5 billion at December 31, 2011.
The stock, which has been trading between $14.35 and $20.52 over the past year, ended Monday's regular session down 0.34 percent at $20.30.