Kara Swisher

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Tim Marches On: AOL Turns in Solid Q4 Earnings, With First Year-Over-Year Growth in Eight Years

AOL said it earned 41 cents a share, or $35.7 million in net income, in the fourth quarter, which was right on target with what Wall Street analysts had expected. That was a significant rise from last year, when the New York-based Internet portal earned 23 cents, or $22.8 million.

Revenue was $599.5 million in the quarter, which was higher than the $573.7 million investors were estimating. While it was a small total rise of four percent from the same period a year ago, the company said its global advertising business was up 13 percent.

AOL said it “grew revenue year-over-year for the first time in eight years.”

That was made up of 17 percent growth in its search business and a 31 percent rise in its third-party ad business, which was tamped down by a drop of 3 percent in its domestic display ad sales.

AOL’s long-declining subscription business of dial-up services fell to $174.2 million, down 10 percent in the quarter from last year — though it grew sequentially.

In addition, the company, which had been buying a lot of its stock back recently, said its board has authorized $100 million more in repurchases, which could happen at any time in the next year.

AOL’s stock is up almost 72 percent from a year ago, closing yesterday ay $31.41. It is trending higher in after-hours trading.

CEO Tim Armstrong will talk about the Q4 performance in a call with analysts at 5 am PT.

Until then, here’s a whole bunch of lovely charts and other info from AOL:




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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus