Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) reported earnings of 32 cents per share after the market closed on Monday. The firm’s revenues for the last three months of 2012 came in at $1.21 billion. The earnings are seen as a barometer of the performance of the company’s new CEO Marissa Mayer. The market reacted well to the beat in expectations. shares in Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) rose by around 4% in early after market trading.

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Analysts had expected the company to report earnings of 28 cents per share, on revenues of $1.2 billion. In the last three months of 2011, the company earned 25 cents per share on revenues of $1.2 billion. The firm’s third quarter 2012 earnings of 35 cents per share were unlikely to be repeated today, but the beat on expectations that did arrive was enough to add to confidence in the company.

Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) shares were down a fraction today in anticipation of the earnings report. In the last twelve months, the company’s shares have undergone a revitalization. In the period the company’s shares have risen by almost 30%. The firm’s new CEO, has been in focus since she took the reigns at the company last July, with expectations for her  turn the company around after years of falling behind its biggest competitor Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG).

Though those expectations weigh heavily, and no major strategic changes have yet been announced, her performance in the last six months has been judged as at least passable.

In the period since her installation, the company’s shares have increased by around 25%. Shares in Yahoo reached levels not seen since 2008  under Mayer’s reign, and she has yet to accomplish anything meaningful at the company. The returns are comparable to those seen at Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), however.

Nobody is quite sure what Marissa Mayer seeks to accomplish at Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO), or how she seeks to accomplish it. In a much talked about speech at Davos, she said she was returning the company to its roots. What that actually means is anyone’s guess, but the company’s shares have recovered despite flat revenues.

The company’s Price Equity ratio stands at around 6 today, well short of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) 23, and that of many other web based companies. Yahoo, however, does not have a clear business model. It’s search and services are mostly uncompetitive beside Google’s, and it has not yet made any headway into the mobile market.

Online video streaming is one direction the company seems to be heading at. The firm has made several deals with partners in the area in recent months, but it doesn’t seem to add up to a holistic strategy for the company. Apart from small clues there is little in the way of confirmations about the company’s future.

The future of Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) hangs in the balance, and today’s earnings report offers little clarity. Yahoo is a company heading toward greater things, what those things are, few know. The conference call expected this afternoon may provide some clue as to the company’s future, but nobody is about to bet on it.