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Yahoo net profit falls; Wall Street awaits action

Weak spending from corporate advertisers results in slight drop in quarterly net profits. Investors expect CEO to shake up strategy.

Yahoo posted a slight drop in quarterly net profits on Tuesday due to weak spending from corporate advertisers, while investors waited for a signal on the company's next moves after a 100-day strategic review.

Yahoo said its third-quarter net profit fell to $151 million, or 11 cents per share, from $158.5 million, or 11 cents per share, in the year-ago period when the company had significantly more shares outstanding.

Gross revenue rose 12 percent to $1.77 billion. Excluding the cost of payments to advertising partners, revenue rose 14 percent to $1.28 billion.

Analysts have braced for lower profits, with a consensus forecast for net profit of $113.8 million, or 8 cents per share, according to Reuters Estimates. In July, the company had cut its outlook for the rest of 2007, the latest in a string of disappointments stretching back to early 2006.

Shares of Yahoo closed down 4.2 percent at $26.69 in regular trading on Nasdaq but jumped nearly 9 percent following the report to $28.68 after-hours.

The stock still trades 20 percent ahead of 2-1/2 year lows set in August as Wall Street is betting on bold moves by Chief Executive Jerry Yang to shake up its strategy and close in on rivals.

Yang vowed in July that there were "no sacred cows" in Yahoo's operations, and investors were expecting details of the company's review findings during a conference call later on Tuesday.