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AOL has reported that its second quarter after-tax profits romped ahead by 340 per cent to $88 million, confirming its position as one of the world's leading Net companies. Revenues from subscriptions climbed to $779 million, an increase of 61 per cent over the same period last year. And revenues from advertising and commerce rose to $126 million, an increase of 133 per cent. Predictably, the company was delighted about its performance especially since it even seemed to take some analysts by surprise. "With this quarter's record results, we continued to build excellent momentum throughout our operations and across all brands," said Steve Case, chairman and CEO of AOL. He spoke freely about 1998 being a watershed for the Net explaining to reporters that it had now truly come of age. In a separate announcement, AOL's board of directors voted for a two-for-one split of the company's common stock. The split will take place on 22 February when stockholders will receive an additional share for every one they own. Anyone who bought 1000 shares for $11,500 at the company's initial public offering in 1992 -- and who still held stock -- would, after the latest split, own 64,000 shares worth around $5 million. ®

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