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AOL profit beats Wall Street expectations

AOL chairman and Chief Executive Officer Tim Armstrong speaks at the Reuters Global Media Summit in New York
AOL chairman and Chief Executive Officer Tim Armstrong speaks at the Reuters Global Media Summit in New York

(Reuters) - AOL Inc 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.

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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