NEW WORK (The Deal) -- When AOL (AOL) reports fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday, investors will look for details from chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong about the company's recent divestiture of local news site Patch.
Investors will also hope for clues about what else AOL could shed as the company focuses on advertising technology and on video ads in particular.
Moves such as the $405 million purchase of video ad company Adap.tv last September reflect the emphasis on advertising technology. Meanwhile, AOL's portfolio of assets and brands includes late-'90s acquisitions such as MapQuest and Moviefone, which may be tangential.
Shareholders received the Patch disposal favorably.
AOL announced after the bell on Jan. 15 that it would contribute Patch to a joint venture controlled by tech-focused turnaround investor Hale Global. The stock increased 11%, to $52.54, the next day, but has since traded back to about $48.
Cowen & Co. LLC analyst John Blackledge wrote in a Wednesday note that the move "eliminates a distraction" and showed that management "will take the necessary steps to ensure longer term shareholder returns."
MapQuest could have value. The unit operates the No. 2 map website and the No. 3 mobile mapping app. MapQuest recently updated the app for Apple's (AAPL) iOS7.
AOL doesn't break out information for MapQuest, but one analyst, who requested anonymity, suggested it could be worth $500 million.
Seth Shafer of SNL Kagan observed that MapQuest has come up as a potential divestiture in recent years. "There is not a lot of advertising crammed into it," he said.