Yahoo Inc. (YHOO)'s third-quarter profit topped analyst expectations as advertisers continued to flock to the company's popular Web site.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company said Tuesday that it earned $253.8 million, or 17 cents per share, during the three months ended in September. That was essentially unchanged from net income of $253.3 million, or 17 cents per share, at the same time last year when Yahoo realized a large windfall from the sale of its stake in rival Google Inc.

Revenue for this year's period totaled $1.33 billion, a 47 percent increase from $906.7 million last year.

The earnings exceeded the consensus estimate of 14 cents per share among analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial (search).

After subtracting the commissions that Yahoo paid to the partners in its advertising network, Yahoo's third-quarter revenue totaled $932 million — a figure that also topped the consensus analyst estimate.

Yahoo released the results after the stock market closed Tuesday. The company's shares fell 46 cents to close at $33.70 on the Nasdaq Stock Market (search), then gained 5 cents in extended trading.

The performance continued Yahoo's recent streak of prosperity, which has been propelled by advertisers that have been increasing their online spending to reach consumers who are devoting more of their free time to the Web.

Yahoo is perfectly positioned to capitalize on the trend because its Web site has built the largest U.S. audience after its first decade in existence. Yahoo attracted 99.3 million unique U.S. visitors last month, according to Nielsen/NetRatings (search), a research firm.

"Our ongoing ability to execute against plan and utilize our industry-leading technology continues to position us for long-term growth," Yahoo Chairman Terry Semel said.