Yahoo's first-quarter results just beat Wall Street estimates last night in what was taken as a good sign for the web pioneer's plan to auction its core business. 

Under pressure from activist shareholder Starboard Value and others, Yahoo has ramped up a sale of its media, email and other web businesses. 

Yahoo's overall fortunes have failed to revive under CEO Marissa Mayer, although she points to good results in key areas including social media. 

Mayer in a call with analysts repeated the message that she was focused on the sale and was meeting with investors and potential bidders. 

This was in a contrast with the previous quarter, when she also discussed plans to spin off the company's core business from Yahoo and its stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding. 

The first round of bids closed on Monday. Verizon Communications has put in an offer and is set to make a short list, according to sources. 

Private equity firms Apax Partners, TPG Capital, Bain Capital, Apollo Global Management and Warburg Pincus have also submitted first- round bids. 

Yahoo aims to close the sale in June, sources said. That would be before the annual meeting where Starboard wants shareholders to replace the board. 

The company said its revenue fell 11.3% to $1.09 billion in the first quarter, the first decline after four quarters of growth in a row. 

The result was marginally better than analyst estimates of $1.08 billion, according to Thomson Reuters. 

Yahoo reported a net loss of $99m, or 10 cents per share, compared with a profit of $21m, or 2 cents per share, a year ago. 

On an adjusted basis, Yahoo earned eight cents per share, topping Wall Street's target of seven cents.