Advertising revenue strength boosts AOL's 4Q

AP News
Posted: Feb 06, 2014 10:56 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — Advertising growth is helping lift New York Internet company AOL Inc., although costs associated with its former local news unit Patch weighed on fourth-quarter profit.

AOL said Thursday that it earned 36 million, or 43 cents per share, in the October-December period. That's up 1 percent from $35.7 million, or 41 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier. But analysts, on average, were expecting stronger earnings of 47 cents per share, according to a poll by FactSet.

The latest quarter included a restructuring charge of $13.2 million from job cuts, mostly at the struggling Patch. AOL handed over Patch's operations and majority ownership to investment firm Hale Global last month.

Revenue rose 13 percent, to $679 million from $599.5 million. Wall Street predicted $655.9 million. Advertising revenue grew 23 percent to $507 million. Subscription revenue from AOL's aging dial-up service continued to decline, as expected.

CEO Tim Armstrong said 2013 was the company's most successful year in the last decade.

AOL's shares rose as high as $51.31 Thursday before reversing course. They were down 2.3 percent to $46.38 in late morning trading. The stock has ranged from $30.57 to $53.28 over the past 52 weeks.