Internet giant Yahoo Inc. posted a $153 million net profit in the fourth quarter of 2009, on the back of stronger advertising revenue.

The world's second-largest search engine said it was the best quarter it’s had since Carol A. Bartz took over as chief executive a year ago. Bartz has been vowing since her arrival to engineer a turnaround that eluded her two predecessors, Terry Semel and Jerry Yang.

Yahoo earned $153 million, or 11 cents per share, in the three months ended Dec. 31, compared with a loss of $303 million, or 22 cents per share, a year earlier.

However, revenue fell 4 percent to $1.7 billion year-over-year, but were 10 percent higher compared with the previous quarter.

In its last forecast, Yahoo said it expected quarterly revenue between $1.6 billion and $1.7 billion.

The company had previously struggled during the global recession as advertisers dramatically cut their budgets. As a result, the Sunnyvale, Calif. cut more than 2,000 jobs in a bid to reduce costs.

“The fourth quarter marked a strong finish to 2009, which was a transformative year for Yahoo,” said Carol Bartz, Yahoo’s chief executive, in a prepared statement.

Our business has positive momentum and we feel good as we head into 2010.

For the whole of 2009, Yahoo made a $598 million profit, or 42 cents per share, up 43 percent on the previous year. Sales in 2009 dropped 10 percent to $6.5 billion.