|AOL CEO Tim Armstrong|
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- AOL ( AOL) CEO Tim Armstrong said Tuesday the company's objective right now is to be the number three player in the online display advertising market. Speaking at a Goldman Sachs investor conference in New York, Armstrong said this goal "may not sound very ambitious" but it's a "unique place to occupy." AOL, which has struggled to transform its business into an ad-supported content company and move away from its 1990s dial-up Internet business, is now ranked fourth in the market behind Facebook, Yahoo! ( YHOO) and Microsoft ( MSFT), according to Comscore.
In the first quarter of 2011, AOL captured 3% of the display ad market, largely flat from the year prior. Facebook, in turn, nearly doubled its share to 31% from 16% a year ago, while Google ( GOOG - Get Report) has also pushed aggressively to boost its display ad business. Analysts are largely pessimistic about AOL's ability to achieve growth in the display market. "...We believe AOL is losing share of display ads to both Google and Facebook as advertisers embrace video, mobile and social ads over traditional display," Barclays Capital analyst Ronald Josey wrote in a recent note to clients. In the most recent quarter, AOL reported a net loss of $11.8 million and revenue of $542 million. Shares of AOL have declined nearly 47% since the beginning of the year. The stock recently trading at $12.80, down more than 8.2%, on Wednesday with volume at 2.1 million. -- Written by Olivia Oran in New York. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/Ozoran. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.