Reuters

(Reuters)

Strong Ad Sales Push AOL Quarterly Revenue Up 4.6%

Features Reuters

AOL Inc, owner of the Huffington Post news website and the TechCrunch blog, reported a better-than-expected adjusted profit as revenue surged in its online advertising business.

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Advertising has become a major revenue stream for AOL as the company moves away from dial-up subscription service, helped by acquisition of automated advertising platforms such as Adap.tv.

Revenue in AOL's ad platform business, where the company helps advertisers place ads on other digital properties, rose 20.2 pct to $330.6 million in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31.

Subscription revenue declined 5.5 percent to $148.1 million as domestic subscribers fell to 2.2 million from 2.5 million.

AOL Properties display revenue fell 6 percent due to absence of about $12 million from shuttered brands including Patch.

Total revenue rose 4.6 percent to $710.3 million in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, with advertising and other revenue rising 7.6 percent to $562.2 million.

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Analysts on average had expected revenue of $721.8 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net income attributable to AOL rose to $59.6 million, or 73 cents per share, in the quarter, from $36.0 million, or 43 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned 92 cents per share, beating the average analyst estimate of 72 cents.

New York-based AOL's shares closed at $44.83 on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Kshitiz Goliya and Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza and Sriraj Kalluvila)