Verizon deal extends four-year surge in AOL's stock price

Verizon deal extends four-year surge in AOL's stock price
Specialist Ronnie Howard on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday. AOL Inc.'s stock soared in response to a merger deal with Verizon Communications Inc. (Richard Drew / Associated Press)

AOL Inc.'s stock price soared Tuesday in response to the merger agreement with Verizon Communications Inc., extending a four-year rally in AOL's shares.

After the companies said Verizon would buy AOL for $50 a share, or $4.4 billion, AOL's stock jumped $7.93 a share, or 18.6%, to $50.52 in afternoon trading.


The stock has now surged five-fold since August 2011, when it was trading just above $10 a share.

A pioneer Internet provider with its dial-up service, AOL was known as America Online when it went public in 1992 for a split-adjusted 9 cents a share.

AOL later combined with Time Warner Inc. in a $186-billion megamerger in 2001, only to see the marriage crumble within a few years and become known as one of the worst deals in corporate history.

Time Warner spun off AOL back into a separate company in 2009. AOL then reinvented itself as a digital media company, with assets that include the Huffington Post, original video programs and advertising platforms.

AOL generated revenue of $2.53 billion last year and turned a profit of $125.6 million.

Here are some key dates in AOL's history:

1985: Quantum Computer Services Inc., which later becomes America Online Inc., launches its first online service, Q-Link.

1992: America Online's stock goes public.

1995: debuts.

2001: AOL and Time Warner complete their merger, creating AOL Time Warner.

2003: AOL Time Warner posts a $99-billion loss for 2002, mainly due to writing down the sinking value of its Internet unit and other properties. AOL is dropped from the corporate name.

2009: Time Warner spins off AOL and Time Warner Cable. Former Google Inc. executive Tim Armstrong becomes AOL's chief executive.

2011: AOL acquires the Huffington Post.

2015: Verizon Communications Inc. agrees to buy AOL for $4.4 billion.