AOL Releases Q4 2011 Earnings

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AOL released their financial earnings for the fourth quarter of the 2011 financial year this morning and initial reviews seem to be more positive than negative for the media company. It announced that their shares are up $0.23 and revenue exceeded Wall Street's expectations at $571.9 million; Wall Street had anticipated the shares would be $0.17 revenue to be slightly lower at $571.9 million.

In an accompanying statement, AOL Chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong expressed satisfaction with the company's performance and said they "took a large step forward in Q4." He added, "I am very pleased with the way we ended the year. Our Q4 results highlight AOL's ability to methodically improve our consumer offering and financial performance."

Despite besting Wall Street's expectations, AOL's subscription revenue was down 18% from where it was last year: $194.6 million in Q4 2011 versus $235.9 million in Q4 2010. Additionally, subscription revenue was down 22% for the overall year, as well, with $803.2 million in FY 2011 versus $1,023.6 million in FY 2010.

While it AOL's operating income was down considerably since last year at $124.6 million, the figure wasn't as low as Wall Street's prediction of $101.3 million.

Some other highlights from the release:

  • Advertising revenue grew 10% for the 3 consecutive year.
  • AOL's total revenue growth is at the lowest rate of decline in 5 years.
  • Search revenue declines are at the lowest rate in almost 3 years.
  • AOL grew it's videos, video views, & video ad impressions and revenue at double-digit rates.
  • Project Devil advertisers, impressiona and revenue grew at double-digit rates.
  • Patch grew traffic, advertisers, and ad impressions over 100%.
  • AOL repurchased 3.3 million shares of common stock.
  • Armstrong and AOL CFO Arte Minson are scheduled to take questions from reporters later today during a press call to discuss the implications of the release.

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