February 1, 2012 / 12:38 PM / in 7 years

AOL profit beats Wall Street expectations

(Reuters) - AOL Inc AOL.N 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.

AOL chairman and Chief Executive Officer Tim Armstrong speaks at the Reuters Global Media Summit in New York November 28, 2011. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

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.

Reporting by Yinka Adegoke in New York; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn

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