Yahoo: New CEO. Same results.

@CNNMoneyTech January 24, 2012: 6:45 PM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Yahoo on Tuesday reported quarterly results in line with analysts' expectations, a somewhat quiet start for new CEO Scott Thompson.

Yahoo posted a $296 million profit for the fourth quarter of 2011, up 5% compared to last year. Yahoo's earnings per share were 24 cents. The company's sales for the quarter came in at 1.3 billion, down 13% from last year. Excluding revenue shared with partners, sales came in at $1.17 billion, a 3% decline from last year.

Shares of Yahoo (YHOO, Fortune 500) were flat in after-hours trading. The company was upstaged by Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500), which also reported record-breaking results.

"In 2012 we will be aligning resources behind key areas of focus to enable us to move aggressively in market and grow our business, bringing innovative new products and experiences to both our users and advertisers," Thompson said in the earnings release.

What kind of resources and products? It's too early to tell.

"Given that we're two weeks into this, it's probably a bit early for me to articulate directionally where we're going," the new CEO said during a conference call with analysts. "We're considering a number of options and we're certainly considering ways in which we can increase the monetization of all the users."

Thompson said combing through the vast data troves Yahoo has collected on its 702 million users has been a focus for him, alluding to "interesting data-oriented products coming out sooner rather than later."

He added: "If you believe data and great technology and great technologists can begin to predict what's in a user's mind ... having that data to start from is a big advantage."

Speed is also a priority. "Those of you who know me understand I want to hear all the options," he said on the call. "But when it comes to making decisions -- I make them quickly and push to move fast, fast, fast."

It's been a tumultuous six months for the company, which has had a revolving door in its executive suite.

Most recently, Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang resigned from the board of directors and all other positions at the company, leaving investors wondering if the company will be put up for sale. Such a move was reportedly opposed by Yang.

In early January, Thompson was named as CEO after a four-month search for a replacement for Carol Bartz. She was fired in September. CFO Tim Morse had served as Bartz's interim replacement during the transition.

Thompson joined Yahoo from eBay (EBAY, Fortune 500) subsidiary PayPal.

He faces many challenges at Yahoo. Google (GOOG, Fortune 500), despite reporting earnings and sales that missed forecasts last week, is a formidable competitor. Facebook has also emerged as a viable alternative for online advertisers.

Microsoft, Yahoo's search partner, reported strong results last week, but Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500) continues to lose money in its online services division.  To top of page

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