AOL posts higher earnings, but its adjusted results miss Wall Street estimates, shares fall

NEW YORK, N.Y. – AOL Inc. said Wednesday that its first-quarter net income jumped 23 per cent, helped by an increase in global advertising revenue.

But its adjusted earnings fell short of Wall Street predictions and AOL shares slumped more than 9 per cent in midday trading.

The New York-based internet company earned $25.9 million, or 32 cents per share, for the three months ended March 31, up from $21.1 million, or 22 cents per share, in the same quarter of 2012.

Excluding one-time items, the company said it posted an adjusted profit of 41 cents per share. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected adjusted earnings of 44 cents per share, on average.

Revenue rose 2 per cent to $583.3 million from $529.4 million. Analysts expected $542.6 million in revenue.

AOL split from Time Warner Inc. in 2009 and has been trying to increase revenue ever since by shedding unprofitable businesses and buying popular sites such as the Huffington Post and the technology blog TechCrunch.

The company said its advertising revenue increased 9 per cent to $359.2 million, helped by higher display and search revenue, but that was mostly offset by a 9 per cent drop in subscription revenue to $165.8 million.

Shares of AOL fell $3.91, or 9.4 per cent, to $37.51 in midday trading. Its shares have traded in a 52-week range of $24.35 to $43.93.