Even with Mayer as CEO, Yahoo faces a tough challenge to turn itself around

While Yahoo has finally made its first step into what will hopefully be a path to much needed stability with the appointment of Marissa Mayer as CEO, the company still has quite a battle in front of it both to boost its numbers and to raise its stock price.

The aging web portal did moderately well during the last quarter, but we’ll have to wait and see if this momentum continued despite the turbulence of a proxy battle with major Yahoo investor Third Point, the departure of Scott Thompson as CEO, and the temporary appointment of Ross Levinsohn to the top spot.

Yahoo posted $1,077 million in total revenue in Q1 2012, with a one percent increase compared to the same quarter last year. Its net earnings were up $0.23 per share at a 38 percent increase year-over-year. Wall Street is bracing investors for a slump in the following quarter’s earnings, which will be announced tomorrow along with a Q2 earnings call. Analysts expect Yahoo to post total revenue of $1.09 billion, down 11.3 percent compared to $1.23 billion last year, according to investment research firm Zacks. Net earnings, however, are expected to rise 5.3 percent at $0.20 per share compared to the same period in 2011.

If Yahoo does end up beating estimates, it’s likely that Levinsohn — not Thompson, who was dealing with defending his resume as well as a cancer diagnosis — will assume most of the credit.