Time Warner results beats estimates on TV, movies

AP

(AP) NEW YORK - Time Warner Inc. (TWX) said Wednesday that its first-quarter earnings fell 11 percent, but adjusted income beat Wall Street's expectations on the strengths of the company's television and movie studio businesses.

Time Warner had net income of $583 million in the first three months of the year, compared with $653 million a year earlier. Both translated to 59 cents a share because the company now has fewer shares outstanding.

Excluding one-time factors, including charges related to a decision to shut down a TV network in India, Time Warner had adjusted income of 67 cents a share. That's better than the 64 cents expected by analysts surveyed by FactSet. The New York-based company's adjusted income a year ago was 58 cents.

Revenue grew 4 percent to $7 billion, ahead of expectations of $6.82 billion.

Time Warner's cable TV networks, which include CNN, TBS, TNT and HBO, saw revenue grow 3 percent to $3.6 billion. The company benefited from strong ad rates, better timing of the March Madness basketball games and higher fees collected from U.S. cable and satellite TV distributors to carry the channels. That was offset partly by a decrease in content revenue; last year's quarter got a boost from licensing HBO's "Sex and the City" to other cable outlets in the U.S.

At the Warner Bros. movie studio, a stronger slate at the box office contributed to a 7 percent revenue increase to $2.8 billion. Big performers included "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" and "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island." The division also benefited from higher licensing revenue of TV shows and the video-on-demand availability of a television series, but revenue from DVDs and other home entertainment sales fell.

Revenue at the Time Inc. magazine division fell 3 percent to $773 million. Advertising and subscription revenue both declined. Weak sales at newsstands worldwide were offset partly by higher sales of U.S. subscriptions.