AOL Posts 2Q Profit of Nearly $1B, Smallest Revenue Decline in 7 Years

Carried by lucrative patent sales and stronger-than-expected revenue, AOL (NYSE:AOL) revealed on Wednesday it swung back into the black last quarter with a profit of nearly $1 billion.

The upbeat results helped send AOL’s shares 5% higher, leaving them up a whopping 90% so far this year.

New York-based AOL said it earned $970.8 million, or $10.17 a share, last quarter, compared with a loss of $11.8 million, or 11 cents a share, a year earlier.

Last quarter’s earnings were largely driven by a gain of $945.8 million tied to the sale of a slew of patents, including unloading more than 800 patents to software giant Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).

Revenue declined 2% to $531.1 million, but that exceeded the Street’s view of $519 million and marked the smallest rate of decline in seven years. Global advertising revenue rose 6% last quarter, while display advertising sales increased 2%.

AOL also logged a 120% surge in adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA) to $168.6 million -- its first increase in this metric in four years.

“Today’s results represent a significant milestone for AOL,” CEO Tim Armstrong said in a statement. “The strong results and consumer performance we announced today are clear signs our strategic and operating efforts are translating into significant financial progress.”

AOL continues to garner huge traffic, growing unique visitors by 4% from the first quarter to 112 million.

The results allowed AOL’s shares to extend their impressive 2012 track record, recently trading up 5.31% to $28.95. On an intraday basis, the shares hit a new 52-week high of $29.02.