Yahoo’s third quarter earnings came in this afternoon above Wall Street’s estimates ($0.11 per share versus the expected $0.08), but its net income of $151.3 million (on revenues of $1.8 billion) was still down five percent from last year. The biggest sign of life, though, is that its Panama ad-serving technology is finally starting to kick in, with revenues per search up an impressive 20%. That’s the first uptick in that crucial metric in six quarters. Yahoo still has its work cut out for it, however. As one former Yahoo exec put it to me recently: “Panama is really good, but not quite there yet.” This former exec, who is now the CEO of a startup that plans to make its money from search ads, will be using Google AdSense instead.