AOL Earnings Reports Lowest Revenue Drop in 7 Years

Net income swells to $970.8 million thanks to patent deal with Microsoft

AOL beat Wall Street's projections Wednesday, reporting revenue $531 million for its second quarter.

Getty ImagesAlthough that represented a two percent drop compared to the same period a year ago, analysts had projected that AOL would report revenue of $519 million, according to Reuters. It also represents the company's slowest rate of revenue decline in seven year — a fact that AOL was quick to note both in its release and on a conference call with investors.

Earnings per share climbed to $10.17 per share from a loss of 11 cents a year ago.

"This is just the start of what we want to accomplish," AOL CEO Tim Armstrong said on the call, attributing the improvement to a "stronger, more focused team."

Net income topped out at a staggering $970.8 million in the quarter compared with  $11.8 million in losses in the same period in 2011. That was largely attributable to income from a $1 billion patent sale to Microsoft, the company said.

Traffic at the portal hit 112 million unique visitors, a modest 1 percent drop from last year, but revenue for display ads  was basically flat at $139.9 million.