carol-bartz-new-yahoo-ceo (1)Way to friggin’ go, Carol! Yahoo’s fourth quarter revenues were lower than a year ago, but they beat the high bound of the company’s outlook forecast range, leading to a $119 million profit as opposed to last year’s $278 million loss. Chalk that up as another victory for CEO Carol Bartz.

Display ads were up 26%, the biggest gain since 2006. Search ads went up 8%, primarily because of improved targeting algorithms, the company claimed. Employee headcount grew by about 300, marking an end for now to repeated rounds of layoffs.

And remember, the advertising deal with Microsoft has yet to result in either side paying the other. Things won’t kick into gear until next year.

The reaction from senior business reporters who follow Yahoo was surprisingly tame. CNBC Silicon Valley bureau chief Jim Goldman yawned on the air. AllThingsD editor Kara Swisher said the real news on today’s earnings call was that Yahoo has finally disabled the annoying hover navigation on its home page.

Here are the relevant stats from the earnings report:

Revenues were $1,732 million for the fourth quarter of 2009, which exceeded the top end of the Company’s business outlook range.

Revenues decreased 4 percent from the fourth quarter of 2008 and increased 10 percent from the third quarter of 2009.

Revenues were $6,460 million for 2009, a decrease of 10 percent compared to 2008. Excluding the impact of currency rate fluctuations and divested business lines, revenues for 2009 would have declined 6 percent compared to 2008.

Income from operations for the fourth quarter of 2009 was $119 million, compared to a loss of $278 million in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Net income per diluted share for the fourth quarter of 2009 was $0.11, including charges of $0.04 per share related to the Microsoft search agreement and restructuring charges. For fourth quarter of 2008, net loss per diluted share was $0.22, including a charge of $0.39 per share primarily related to a goodwill impairment.

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