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Yahoo! surprised no one yesterday when it reported its third quarter results to Wall Street.

The company, which is searching for a replacement CEO following Carol Bartz's undignified sacking in September, said its Q3 net income hit $293m, or 23 cents a share.

But that's down 26 per cent on the same period a year earlier, when the lumbering internet outfit pulled in profit of $396m.

Yahoo! saw revenue drop 24 per cent for the quarter ended 30 September 2011. It reported total sales, excluding traffic acquisition costs (TAC) paid to partner websites, of $1.07bn compared with $1.12bn in the company's 2010 Q3.

The NYSE responded positively to the results, with a 2.7 per cent uptick in shares to $15.98 during after-hours trading.

"In order to create more financial certainty, Microsoft and Yahoo! recently agreed to extend the RPS [revenue per search] Guarantee in the US and Canada through March 2013," the company confirmed in its Q3 results statement.

"Microsoft and Yahoo! remain fully committed to the success of the Search Alliance, and the RPS Guarantee extension represents an important sign of that commitment."

Recently it has been reported that Microsoft has been among a number of potential suitors looking to buy Yahoo!. MS boss Steve Ballmer did little to reject that suggestion yesterday when he praised the Sunnyvale, California-based firm for having one of the most engaged audiences online.

Indeed, the company's Q3 results revealed a 9 per cent climb in page views on Yahoo!'s media estate for the period. ®

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