AOL profit drops, but beats Wall Street expectations

NEW YORK – AOL Inc. posted a drop in fourth-quarter profit, but beat Wall Street forecasts as a rise in display advertising offset an ongoing decline at its Internet dial-up business.

Earnings fell to $22.8 million, or 23 cents a share, from continuing operations from $66.2 million, or 60 cents a share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average expected AOL to post a profit of 16 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue dipped by 3 percent to $576.8 million.

AOL, whose media assets include Huffington Post and TechCrunch, said total advertising revenue rose by 10 percent to $331.6 million.

Overall display advertising – representing big splashy ads that appear on Web pages and command higher rates – rose 15 percent.

Subscription revenue from AOL’s dial-up Internet access unit declined by 18 percent.