Are AOL’s Major Investors Becoming More Cautious About Board Politics?

For the year-to-date, AOL, Inc.’s (NYSE:AOL) shares are up 80.4 percent. Last week the company asked its shareholders to vote for its slate of board nominees as opposed to the ones from activist investor Starboard Value LP’s nominees. AOL thinks they neither have a long-term strategy nor appropriate industry experience.

Starboard has around 5.3% of AOL’s outstanding shares. It has criticized the company’s Chief Executive Tim Armstrong’s efforts to raise advertising revenue through corporate AOL assets such as Patch.com. Meanwhile, AOL thinks Starboard’s nominees “will damage the company and its relationship with advertisers,” reported The Wall Street Journal.

With the company’s board possibly changing with Starboard Value’s people, will AOL’s largest shareholders decrease their holdings? 283 institutional firms indicated owning shares of AOL, Inc. (NYSE:AOL) in Q1 2012. These firms reported owning a total of 93.282 million shares on 03/31/2012. The shares closed at $18.97 on 03/31/2012.

Here are the ten largest positions in AOL, Inc. at the end of March 31st, 2012.

Dodge & Cox held 14,105,010 shares on 03/31/2012 worth $267,572,030. This brought the portfolio total to 0.34%.

RS investment Management Co LLC held 7,700,509 shares on 03/31/2012 worth $146,078,650. This brought the portfolio total to 1.33%.

Capital Research Global Investors held 7,569,195 shares on 03/31/2012 worth $143,587,624. This brought the portfolio total to 0.06%.

Vanguard Group Inc held 5,037,052 shares on 03/31/2012 worth $95,552,873. This brought the portfolio total to 0.01%.

Starboard Value LP held 4,916,000 shares on 03/31/2012 worth $93,256,517. This brought the portfolio total to 16.53%.

Altrinsic Global Advisors LLC held 4,063,709 shares on 03/31/2012 worth $77,088,557. This brought the portfolio total to 1.6%.

D. E. Shaw & Co. Inc. held 4,053,070 shares on 03/31/2012 worth $76,886,735. This brought the portfolio total to 0.21%.

Iridian Asset Management LLC/CT held 3,341,863 shares on 03/31/2012 worth $63,395,139. This brought the portfolio total to 1.08%.

Blackrock Institutional Trust Company N.A. held 2,656,508 shares on 03/31/2012 worth $50,393,955. This brought the portfolio total to 0.01%.

State Street Corp held 2,440,904 shares on 03/31/2012 worth $46,303,947. This brought the portfolio total to 0.01%.

About the company: AOL Inc is a web services company. The Company’s business spans online content, products and services that the company offers consumers, publishers and advertisers. AOL focuses on attracting consumers and providing online advertising services on company owned and operated properties as well as third party websites. AOL also operates an internet subscription access service.

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