Net income jumped 57 percent to $35.7 million, or 41 cents per share.
Revenue grew by 4 percent to $599.5 million.
Analysts, on average, expected earnings of 54 cents per share on revenue of $571.8 million, according to FactSet.
AOL split from Time Warner Inc. in 2009 and has been trying to increase revenue ever since by shedding unprofitable businesses and buying popular sites such as the Huffington Post and the technology blog TechCrunch. The quarter's surprise revenue growth pointed to that strategy paying off.
Advertising revenue climbed by 13 percent to $410.6 million. Subscription revenue — money from its fading dial-up Internet service — fell 10 percent to $174.2 million.
Shares of New York-based AOL Inc. rose $2.50, or 8 percent, to $33.91 in morning trading. The stock has traded in the 52-week range of $16.80 to $43.93.