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Yahoo revenue tops Wall Street forecasts

SAN FRANCISCO Yahoo's fourth-quarter earnings topped analyst estimates as an upturn in its international investments helped end a three-year slump in revenue.

The results announced Monday covered Yahoo's first full quarter under CEO Marissa Mayer. Yahoo lured Mayer away from Google  a former top Google (GOOG) executive in mid-July.

Mayer has been focusing on building better mobile and social networking services so Yahoo can make more money from two of technology's hottest trends.

The company's fourth-quarter earnings dipped 8 percent from the previous year to $272 million, or 23 cents per share. The earnings would have been higher than the previous year, if not for one-time accounting charges.

Yahoo's fourth-quarter revenue increased 2 percent from the previous year to $1.35 billion. It left Yahoo with its first revenue gain for the full year since 2008.

"During the quarter we made progress by growing our executive team, signing key partnerships including those with NBC Sports and CBS Television, and launching terrific mobile experiences for Yahoo! Mail and Flickr," said Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer in a statement. "At the same time, we achieved tremendous internal transformation in the culture, energy and execution of the company."

Yahoo reported search revenue of $482 million for the quarter, up 4 percent over the year-ago period. For all of 2012, the company had $1.9 billion in search revenue.

Yahoo has churned through a number of leaders in recent years amid shrinking profits. Yahoo sought to further strengthen its management in  December by revamping its board of directors.

Perhaps Mayer's greatest challenge in turning Yahoo around: Re-defining the company in an era of mounting competition from Google, Amazon (AMZN) and other Internet industry giants.

Although it is early days in that effort, investors so far appear encouraged with the company's recent moves, which have included stock buybacks and an acquisition. Yahoo's stock price has risen since late last year and closed Monday at $20.31, near the company's 52-week high. The share was up nearly 4 percent in after-hours trading.