AOL 1st-quarter revenue climbs as global advertising sales increase



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NEW YORK — AOL's first-quarter revenue climbed on strong advertising sales, seemingly validating the company's decision in recent years to spend heavily on advertising technology.

Shares jumped more than 5 percent before the opening bell Friday.

The New York company earned $7 million, or 9 cents per share, for the period ended March 31. That compares with $9.3 million, or 11 cents per share, a year ago.

Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, were 34 cents per share.

Revenue rose to $625.1 million from $583.3 million, benefiting from an increase in global advertising sales.

That was better than expected, according to Cantor Fitzgerald, which said it would revisit its profit estimates for the company Friday.

"AOL is making good progress on its transition to becoming the home of more programmatic, video and global platforms," said Cantor's Youssef Squali. "That said, much work remains to get to a smooth, predictable," year-over-year growth.

One thing that Squali pointed to was waning membership numbers.

There was a 6 percent drop in subscription revenue, the company said, and there were 11 percent fewer domestic AOL subscribers.

Brian Pitz of Jefferies said that ad sales got a boost from a 19 percent gain in third-party platform revenue and 28 percent growth in its Search segment, which offset a 4 percent drop in AOL Properties display revenue.

AOL Inc. shares gained $2.11 to $41.50 in premarket trading.

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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on AOL at http://www.zacks.com/ap/AOL

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Keywords: AOL, Earnings Report

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