FORTUNE -- Yahoo (YHOO) slightly edged out Wall Street expectations on Tuesday after it posted 2014 first-quarter earnings of 38 cents per share on revenue of $1.087 billion, a tiny increase from the same period a year ago.
Analysts were looking for earnings of 37 cents per share on revenue of $1.08 billion. Shares were up 6% in after-hours trading.
A big part of that result came thanks to Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce company in which Yahoo holds a 24% stake, which posted a 66% year-over-year increase in revenue to $3.06 billion (and a 110% increase in net income) for its fiscal fourth quarter.
For Yahoo, the narrative remains the same: Lackluster financials bolstered by Alibaba, which is preparing for an initial public offering later this year. The company under chief executive Marissa Mayer has worked hard in the last year to distinguish itself as a media company: It has launched two digital magazines (Yahoo Food and Yahoo Tech), deployed new versions of its mobile and web applications, and hired high-profile media talent in technologist David Pogue, broadcaster Katie Couric, and fashion fixture David Zee.
But the investment hasn't yet paid off. Revenue for Yahoo's display advertising business came in at $409 million for the quarter, a 2% increase compared to $402 million at the same time a year ago and the first such increase since 2011. Revenue for Yahoo's search advertising business was $444 million, a 9% increase from the year-ago quarter's $409 million.
In terms of outlook, the company predicted revenue of between $1.12 billion and $1.16 billion. Is Yahoo finding its way out of the woods? It's still too early to tell, but at least the company isn't moving in the wrong direction.
"I am really pleased by our first-quarter performance, marking our best Q1 revenue ex-TAC since 2010," said Mayer, using the acronym for traffic acquisition costs. "Q1 was an early and important sign of growth in our core business."
These days, Yahoo seems to be more about generating rumors than solid prospects for the future. So why would Google ever want to risk getting involved? Here are six potential reasons.
By Kevin Kelleher, contributor
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Alibaba.com, which recently lost its CEO and COO over fraudulent company activity, elected Jonathan Lu, who led the company's efforts with the payment service Alipay, to take over the top executive spot. In a company-wide email, Lu urged employees to "forge ahead" and said he MOREJP Mangalindan, Writer - Feb 24, 2011 7:50 AM ET
Alibaba says the fraud perpetrated on its users is minor and immaterial, fiscally, to its investors. But top leaders still fell on their swords to save the company's reputation where it really counts.
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For several years now, the Internet firm Alibaba-Taobao has been one of the most prominent Chinese companies on the planet—thanks both to its success and to its brash, charismatic founder and chairman, "Jack O' (Yun) Ma, MOREFeb 22, 2011 1:46 PM ET
A curated selection of the long weekend's most newsworthy tech stories from all over the Web. Sign up to get the newsletter delivered to your inbox every morning.Major executive shakedown over at Chinese business-to-business service Alibaba.com. CEO David Wei and COO Elvis Lee took responsibility and resigned over fraudulent company activity that they were reportedly not involved in. An internal probe found that 2,000-plus vendors on the e-commerce site submitted fake business MORE JP Mangalindan, Writer - Feb 22, 2011 5:00 AM ET
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