Time Warner Profits Up, Focusing On 'Additive And Not Cannibalistic' Models

Time Warner Inc. posted their fourth quarter earnings this morning, announcing a 2% raise in revenue to $7.32 billion, beating analysts’ forecast of about $7.14 billion.

Here’s more info from their earnings:

  • Earned $627 million, or 53 cents per share, during 2009’s 4Q.
  • Raising regular quarterly dividend by 13.3% to $0.2125 per share.
  • Lost $16 billion, or $13.41 per share a year ago.
  • The company’s stock rose 13 cents to $28.64.
  • Ad revenue at Time Warner magazines slipped to $25.79 billion from $26.52 billion.
  • Came out of 2009 at $2.47 billion, or $2.07 per share.

CEO Jeff Bewkes said on the earnings call that the company plans to work on “additive and not cannibalistic” digital business models, including a focus on their TV Everywhere initiative, HBO Go online streams, and John Squires’s digital magazine storefront initiative at Next Issue Media.

Streaming service HBO Go will have three times the content of what’s on HBO On Demand today, according to Bewkes.

Bewkes noted that shedding Time Warner Cable and AOL allowed the company to focus on their top brands and content. The new structure allows the company to “run our businesses more aggressively than ever,” he said.

Time Warner’s HBO and Turner cable gathered more subscription and affiliate fees. Bewkes added that international expansion is in the works to add to their current 33 million subscribers.

HBO’s original, scripted programming will get a boost by renewing shows like True Blood, Hung and Big Love. Martin Scorcese’s Boardwalk is also set to debut this year. Bewkes said adding costly original content will allow HBO to charge higher prices to subscribers and refine their brand.

Time Warner’s Warner Bros. also had success with The Blind Side and Sherlock Holmes in the box office. In 2010, another Harry Potter film, Sex and the City 2, Clash of the Titans and more are on the way. As for a possible MGM deal, Bewkes didn’t dismiss the idea, as News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch said yesterday.

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