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AOL sees jump in first-quarter revenues

America Online posts higher first-quarter profits than a year ago before taking a previously announced charge for subscriber acquisition costs.

America Online (AOL) posted higher first-quarter profits than a year ago before taking a previously announced charge for subscriber acquisition costs.

The nation's number-one online service recorded operating profits of $19 million, or 17 cents per share, for the three months ended September 30, up from $6.1 million or 6 cents per share a year ago. Including the announced write-off of $385.2 million, AOL posted a first-quarter loss of $353.7 million, compared with a loss of $6 million last year.

The earnings were announced after the stock market closed but today AOL stock rose 1-5/8 to 25-5/8, up almost 7 percent in New York Stock Exchange trading.

Analysts said the results were in line with expectations and pointed to the upcoming quarter as a pivotal one for AOL.

AOL said its first-quarter revenues jumped 77 percent to $349.9 million from $197.9 million, a gain that it attributed to an increased subscriber base and higher revenue from advertising and e-commerce.

AOL said it added about 400,000 net new subscribers in the first quarter for a total of about 6.9 million. "Our primary concern right now is meeting the demand we are anticipating," said Chief Executive Steve Case.

As reported, AOL recently announced a $19.95 monthly charge for unlimited access.