Summary Box: AOL posts 4th-qtr profit
THE NUMBERS: AOL Inc. said Wednesday it earned $1.4 million, or a penny per share, in the fourth quarter of 2009, its first apart from Time Warner Inc. in nearly a decade. Revenue sank 17 percent but beat analyst forecasts.
ONLINE ADVERTISING: AOL's online advertising revenue fell 8 percent in the quarter. However, it fell less than it did in the previous quarter, which seems to indicate that AOL, like Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc., is benefiting from an easing online advertising slump.
LOOKING AHEAD: AOL's legacy dial-up Internet business continued to shed subscribers, and this is expected to continue. Additionally, AOL wants to ramp up the number of local communities its Web sites serve this year, and plans to get out of most international markets. CEO Tim Armstrong said the company plans to revamp its technology platforms, which are currently different in different countries, and re-enter these markets in 2011 or 2012.