Internet giant Yahoo announced a profit for the first quarter that more than tripled from last year, but most of the one-time gain was from its stake in Chinese business-to-business Web site Alibaba.

Apart from this benefit, the company, which is trying to remain independent from a hostile takeover bid from Microsoft, said that its EPS was flat with last year.

The company reported net income of $542 million for the quarter compared to $142 million. This compared to $142 million, or $0.10 per share, for the same period of 2007.

This year's results included a net non-cash gain of $401 million related to Alibaba Group's initial public offering of, net of tax, which is included in earnings in equity interests. Yahoo has an ownership stake in the Chinese website.

Excluding special items, Yahoo said earnings were 11 cents a share, which is 2 cents above what analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial expected on average.

Revenue in the period ended in March rose to $1.82 billion from $1.67 billion, Yahoo said, while its net revenue, or revenue excluding payments made to other Web sites to acquire traffic, rose to $1.35 billion.

Analysts had estimated Yahoo would post earnings of 9 cents a share and $1.32 billion in net revenue, according to Thomson Financial.

Yahoo's report was highly anticipated, as the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company has been fending off an unsolicited acquisition offer from Microsoft since the end of January that was initially valued at $31 a share.

Jerry Yang, co-founder and chief executive officer of Yahoo, said in a statement, As outlined in our investor presentation, we believe we can significantly accelerate our revenue growth, return to our historically high margins, and double our operating cash flow by 2010. This quarter's solid performance underscores the fact that we are executing on that plan.

Yahoo! is beginning to realize the benefits of the very substantial and deliberate long-term investments we've made to capitalize on the opportunities ahead in display and to recapture momentum in search,

he added.

Yahoo shares fell slightly to $28.46 in after-hours trading, following the earnings report.