AOL Inc. shares rallied 1.5% in premarket trade Friday, after the Internet content company reported first-quarter profit and sales that beat expectations. For the quarter ended March 31, net earnings fell to $7 million, or 9 cents a share, from $9.3 million, or 11 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, such as restructuring charges related to the reorganization of its salesforce, adjusted earnings per share came in at 34 cents, above the FactSet consensus of 33 cents. Revenue rose 7% to $625.1 million, beating the FactSet consensus of $594 million, amid strength in its brand group and AOL platforms businesses. Domestic AOL subscribers declined 11%, but average revenue per user increased 7%. The stock has dropped 15% year to date through Thursday, while the S&P 500 has gained 1.4%.
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