Most on Wall Street expected a hot mess when Yahoo reported its third-quarter earnings after the closing bell today — and surprisingly, they didn’t get one. The struggling Internet giant kicked out CEO Carol Bartz mid-quarter and has been fielding offers to sell the company. And today Yahoo said earnings fell in the most recent quarter as the company struggled to revive its online advertising business. But it still managed to beat analysts’ expectations. Yahoo reported earnings per share of 21 cents — up 32% year-over-year and much better than analysts had expected. Revenue excluding the cost of traffic acquisition was $1.072 billion, down 5%, and income was down 6% to $177 million; both figures also beat estimates, sending shares up almost 4% in after-hours trading. Two key metrics — display ads and search revenue — were flat and down 13%, respectively. The results included the impact from a search agreement with Microsoft in which the two share revenue. Yahoo said it expects revenue of $1.125 billion to $1.235 billion in the fourth quarter. Since the departure of Bartz, Yahoo has retained investment banking firm Allen & Co to help conduct a “strategic review” of its business and is reportedly working with executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles to find a new CEO. The number of potential buyers reportedly include private equity firms Silver Lake Partners, Providence Equity Partners, Bain Capital, Hellman & Friedman, Blackstone Group, and KKR. Also reportedly interested are Microsoft, AOL, and Asia’s Alibaba.Revenue excluding the cost of traffic acquisition was $1.072 billion, down 5%, and income was down 6% to $177 million; both figures also beat estimates, sending shares up almost 4% in after-hours trading. Two key metrics — display ads and search revenue — were flat and down 13%, respectively. The results included the impact from a search agreement with Microsoft in which the two share revenue.