Boston, MA 02/10/2013 (wallstreetpr) – Web publisher AOL Inc. (NYSE:AOL), peaked to its highest in New York Stock Exchange, since the last three months as it declared its first positive sales growth in last eight years. The Q4 sales for the company grew by 3.9% to $599.5 million against an market estimate of $566.7 million.
The shares advanced by 7.4% to close at $33.72, the biggest one-day increase since November. AOL’s stock has surged 86 percent in the past 12 months, better than the 12 percent return of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.
As CEO, Armstrong has been focusing on developing AOL Inc. (NYSE:AOL) as an advertiser cum content publisher instead of a simple dial up ISP. Owner of TechCrunch and Huffington Post, which spun off from Time Warner Inc. in 2009, said total advertising surged 13% to $410.6 million during the current quarter.
The revenue growth was largely attributable to AOL Inc. (NYSE:AOL)’s third party advertisement sales segment which offers a trading platform for programmatic buying. Under this arrangement web-publishers can trade advertisement space through automated terminals which, Tim Armstrong, CEO of the company anticipated as the“future” online advertising, in his interview to a popular news channel.
Net profits climbed to $35.7 million (i.e. $0.41 per share) as against the 2011 earnings of $22.8 million, when earnings per share (EPS) stood at $0.23 cents. Ignoring the effect of extraordinary items EPS came to settle at $0.55 clearly eclipsing analysts’ estimates of $0.53.
The company also approved a $100 million share repurchase plan to be completed in the coming year. The previous buybacks worth over $700 million during 2012 reduced its outstanding shares by 19% thereby boosting Armstrong’s percentage holding in the company to 6%.
Fourth quarter’s search advertising was up 17% to $103.6 million while display advertising maintained at $169.8 million. His total expenditure on Web publishing including the 2011 purchase of the Huffington Post for a consideration of $315 million and $300 million investment in Patch, totals up to $600 million.
The shares of AOL Inc. (NYSE:AOL) were up by 7.35% to close at $337.2.