AOL Strikes Out With 2Q Earnings As Personnel And Acquisition Costs Rise

AOL shares are down about 11% in early trading and here’s why: Wall Street expected AOL to deliver a 4 cent-a-share profit for 2Q, and the company reported an 11 cent loss. The net loss, at $11.8M, looks better than the $1.1B loss in the same quarter last year. But the 2010 figure included a $1.4B goodwill impairment charge. This morning’s report shows that AOL generated $542.2M in revenues, down 8% from last year — but ahead of the $530.4M that analysts forecast. AOL says its big investments in hyperlocal news service Patch are largely responsible for the continuing losses. The operation serves 846 towns, 44 more than it had at the end of March; in March, AOL closed its $315M deal to acquire The Huffington Post. Revenues at AOL’s mostly dial-up Internet subscription business fell 23% to $201.3M. But the company cheered the 5% growth in ad revenue, to $319M. “AOL’s return to global advertising growth for the first time since 2008 reflects the hard work of our team and another meaningful step forward in the comeback of the AOL brand,” CEO Tim Armstrong said.

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