SUNNYVALE, California: Yahoo's new ceo, Carol Bartz (pictured), has set analysts' grey matter whirring about the possibile resurrection of the on–off sale of its search business to Microsoft, saying: "There are many different parts to search – some are easier to break apart, some aren't."

Bartz previously admitted that she has assessed the practicalities of selling Yahoo's search business, but has now also ruled out the wholesale breaking up of the company.

Says she: "Did I come to Yahoo to sell the company? The answer is no. This is not a company that needs to be pulled apart and left for the chickens."

As reported earlier this week, Yahoo posted a loss for the last quarter of 2008, and its search business was the only area of its operations that registered growth during that period.

In all, ad revenues from its search sites rose by 11% in the final three months of last year to $436 million, while display fell by 2% to $506m, and income from affiliate sites declined by 4% to $532m.

Yahoo's cfo, Blake Jorgensen, said that many major advertisers are transferring their spending from display to "performance" ads, like search, the impact of which can more easily be measured.

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff