Kara Swisher

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

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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:


AOL_Q4_2012_Earnings_Release_Final


AOL_Q4_2012_Earnings_Presentation_Final


AOL_Q4_2012_Trending_Schedules_Final


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik