Yahoo (YHOO, $21.40, down $0.27) announced earnings after the closing bell yesterday and in after-hours trading the stock held up well. For Q2, the company reported earnings of $131 million, or $0.09 a share. This was a drop from $161 million, or $0.11 a share, in the year-earlier quarter. Wall Street was expecting $0.11-$0.12. Basically they missed by two or three pennies depending on who you talk with.

Some are saying the results were disappointing while others are saying Yahoo is getting a break because it could have been worse. The fact that the company did not change its full-year forecast is probably the silver lining that is holding the stock up.

That’s not really much to go on though. It’s amazing that Wall Street is so critical on some companies while giving others a kitchen pass. Yahoo gave a range so wide that you could drive a tank through it when it kept its full-year forecast in the $7.35 billion to $7.85 billion range, sorta.

The way this really went down was that Yahoo raised the bottom end of its previous revenue outlook to $7.35 billion but lowered its top end to $7.85 billion. The earlier forecast was even wider as it called for $7.2-$8 billion. How’s that for smoke-and-mirrors?

The wild card is Yahoo’s relationship with Google (GOOG, $477.11, up $8.31) which could add up to $800 million in revenue. But even that is still under regulatory review. Yahoo shareholders have suffered enough and their earnings report has more holes in it than a slice of swiss cheese. Still, the stock got some love and was up $0.59 to $21.99 in after-hours trading.

Rick Rouse