AOL shares surge after posting exceptional growth in ad revenue

AOL Inc. shares soared 10.2 percent Friday after the tech giant reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue, driven by exceptional growth in ad and search revenues.

AOL closed trading on Friday at $43.42 – the biggest increase since January 2014.

The New-York based company, which owns TechCrunch, Engadget, and the Huffington Post, has benefited from aggressive investments in advertising technology, according to CEO Timothy M. Armstrong.

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In the fourth quarter of last year AOL saw more revenue growth on third party websites that it helps sell advertising on than for properties it owns and operates.

In the first quarter of 2015 AOL reported a 12 percent boost in advertising revenue, up to $483.5 million. This reflected 19 percent growth in third-party revenue.

Revenue from AOL platforms increased 21 percent compared to the same period last year.

However, revenue from its own properties dropped 4 percent.

AOL posted first quarter earnings of $7 million, or 9 cents a share, down from $9.3 million, or 11 cents a share, last year.

Excluding special items, per-share earnings dropped to 34 cents from 35 cents last year.

Net revenue increased to $625.1 million from $583.3 million a year earlier.

According to a poll conducted by Thomson Retuers, analysts expected earnings per-share of 32 cents and revenue of $594.6 million.