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AOL REPORTS EARNINGS BOOST

Time Warner Execs Plan Long Caribbean Cruises To Follow Merger
Increases in subscribers, e-commerce and advertising helped America Online Inc. to more than double its fourth quarter earnings.

On Thursday (7/20), the company said its earnings rose to $334 million, or 13 cents a share, making a huge jump from last year's fourth-quarter earnings of $155 million, or 6 cents a share.

The earnings surpassed analysts' predictions of earnings at 11 cents per share.

Quarterly revenues climbed 39% to $1.9 billion, while full-year earnings rose to $1 billion, or 40 cents a diluted share, on total revenues of $6.9 billion.

Advertising and e-commerce revenues grew 95% to $609 million as the company formed more partnerships. The company added 992,000 new AOL subscribers, bringing the total to 23.2 million.

This comes as welcomed news to Time Warner, whose proposed merger with the Internet giant is expected to close this fall. AOL-Time Warner is expected to generate $40 billion in revenue and cash earnings per share growth of 25-30%, expected, in part, to Internet growth overseas and the development of services, such as instant messaging on hand-held devices.

The two companies will provide an update on a variety of issues, such as open access to Internet access providers and content at a public hearing to be held by U.S. regulators next week.

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