Holy Smokes! AOL Is Up 25% In Two Weeks

Tim Armstrong

Photo: Business Insider Video

AOL stock was already up huge year-over-year, when it reported earnings on February 8.Since then, it’s up 25%.

Ken Sena of Evercore Partners has a theory on why.

On February 8, AOL reported its quarterly financials in a new way – breaking its business into three segments: Membership Group, Brand Group, and AOL Networks.

Doing so has provided investors greater clarity into which parts of the business are growing, and which provide baseline, dependable value.

Wall Street loves to bet on companies that are showing accelerating momentum.

By segmenting its revenue reporting in this new way, AOL has exposed these investors to the part of its business that is achieving those things.

The growth business is AOL’s suite of ad tech services and business, called AOL Networks.

Sena estimates that AOL Networks is currently worth about $9/share to AOL investors.

This would make the unit worth about $700 million to AOL, which has a $2.89 billion market cap.

That sounds like a lot, but independent companies in the same business are valued much higher. Sena singles out AppNexus, which just raised $75 million at a valuation somewhere around $1 billion.

Sena believes the ad network business can push AOL’s overall stock price even higher – adding another $6/share in value by sometime in 2015.

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