Time Warner Swings To Profit On Strong Cable, Movie Results

NEW YORK (AP) — Media conglomerate Time Warner Inc. said Wednesday that improving results at its movie studio and cable networks boosted fourth-quarter revenue, and smaller one-time expenses helped it reverse last year’s losses.

The company is also raising its dividend 13 per cent and increasing its stock repurchase plan.

Time Warner has been slimming down, shedding both AOL and Time Warner Cable in the past year to focus on creative content rather than the businesses that deliver it to customers.

While that strategy has yet to prove itself, the focus appears to have paid off in the fourth quarter, as Time Warner’s HBO and Turner cable networks pulled in more money from subscription and affiliate fees and its Warner Bros. movie studio had success with “The Blind Side” and “Sherlock Holmes.”

Time Warner, which also owns Time Inc. magazines, says it earned $627 million, or 53 cents per share. That compares with a loss of $16 billion, or $13.41 per share, a year ago when the company was hurt by heavy write-downs on its cable, publishing and AOL assets.

Excluding one-time items from the most recent results, the company said it earned 55 cents per share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, who typically exclude such items, were looking for 52 cents.

Revenue climbed 2 per cent to $7.32 billion, compared with an average forecast of $7.14 billion.

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