AOL Fourth-Quarter Profit Jumps 57 Percent as Revenue Grows for First Time in 8 Years

Tim Armstrong - AOL Buys Huffington Post conference - 2011
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The online company, led by CEO Tim Armstrong, posts a 4 percent revenue gain driven by a 13 percent ad increase.

AOL on Friday reported higher fourth-quarter earnings and its first quarterly revenue gain in eight years.

Fourth-quarter earnings at the online company rose 57 percent to $35.7 million. Revenue rose 4 percent to $599.5 million, leaving revenue virtually unchanged for 2012 at nearly $2.2 billion.

The results exceeded Wall Street expectations.

Advertising revenue grew 13 percent in the latest quarter. AOL’s subscription revenue declined 10 percent, the lowest percentage drop in six years.

The growth on the ad side came almost entirely in search (+17%) and third party ad network (+31%)  revenue. On the more disappointing side was revenue from display advertising, which was flat at $169.8 million.

“AOL returned to growth and generated significant value for shareholders in 2012,” said AOL chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong. “AOL has strong momentum entering 2013 and is positioned to continue on our growth path by executing our strategy to build the next generation media and technology company.”

Armstrong is a former Google executive who took over AOL in 2009, succeeding Randy Falco, an NBC veteran who now runs Spanish-language media giant Univision Communications as CEO. Under Armstrong, Time Warner spun off AOL into a separate company.


Twitter: @georgszalai