AOL (AOL) narrowed its fourth-quarter profit by 66% but topped Wall Street expectations, as higher display advertising revenue helped to offset continued declines in its Internet dial-up business and growing costs.
The media conglomerate posted net income of $22.8 million, or 23 cents a share, compared with $66.2 million, or 60 cents, in the year-earlier period, ahead of average analyst estimates of 16 cents in a Thomson Reuters poll.
Revenue for the three-month period was $576.8 million, down 3% from $596 million a year ago, trumping the Street’s view of $573 million.
AOL, which runs the Huffington Post and TechCrunch, said earnings were impacted by an 18% decline in subscription revenue in its dial-up Internet unit, lower search and contextual sales, and higher costs of goods sold.
The declines were partially offset by the third-consecutive period of growth in global display advertising sales, stronger third-party networking revenues and a decrease in general expenses.
"Our Q4 results highlight AOL’s ability to methodically improve our consumer offering and financial performance,” chief executive Tim Armstrong said in a statement.
Churn -- the number of customers that cancel service on a monthly average basis -- edged slightly lower during the period.