Likely as a symbolic gesture, AOL's impassioned CEO Tim Armstrong has invested roughly $10 million in 477,000 shares of AOL stock. According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Armstrong bought the shares at an average price of $20.97 each last Friday. As The Los Angeles Times note, "He nearly doubled his stake in the company to 4% after the stock dropped on news of AOL's $315-million acquisition of online news and opinion site Huffington Post."
Just like Armstrong's big bet on HuffPo, some might interpret the investment as a desperate ploy. Indeed, "Armstrong's enthusiasm for AOL's future as an online media powerhouse is not echoed by Wall Street analysts," The Times adds. AOL shares have dropped nearly 20% since last November. During the fourth quarter of 2010, AOL's total revenues fell 26%, while advertising sales plummeted 29% year-over-year. Overall display revenues declined 14%, as international display sales dove 53%.