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AOL's Spike a Product of Relief

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- AOL (AOL) is soaring as investors breathe a sigh of relief there were no negative announcements in Wednesday's earnings report.

While the company swung to a loss and continues to see its revenue decline, its advertising revenue helped AOL surpass analysts' estimates for the quarter.

As a result, shares of the Internet giant soared 12% to $15.06, after being down more than 40% year to date prior to the release.

During the quarter, the company lost $2.6 million, or 2 cents a share, compared with a profit of $171.6 million, or $1.61, in the year-ago period.

Revenue fell 6% to $531.7 million, easily topping analysts' estimates of $524 million. Revenue has declined every quarter since late 2009.

AOL continues to lose subscribers, with subscription revenue declining 22% to $192 million. Subscriptions represent about 36% of total revenue.

Total advertising revenue grew 8% to $317.7 million, with the company noting strength in third-party network ads and global display advertising revenue.

"Third-quarter results were ahead of expectations, and while this should be positive for stock near-term, we are still awaiting confirmation of a turnaround in revenue growth and sustained margin expansion, something that could materialize in the first half of 2012," Jeffries analyst Youssef Squali wrote in a note.

- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.

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