Programming

Cable Nets Shine in Mixed Time Warner Earnings

AOL, magazine publishing down; cable networks, systems up. 8/06/2008 09:30:00 AM Eastern

Time Warner posted a 26% decline in second-quarter earnings, dragged down by its AOL and magazine-publishing businesses, but it was upbeat in many respects, including reaffirming a bullish earnings forecast for the full year.

Its giant cable-TV segment reported a healthy 18% hike in operating profit to $749 million for the three months ended June 30 and operating profit rose 16% in its the movie-studio segment. Its soon-to-be-spun-off cable systems also reported good results.

Corporate net income fell to $792 million, or 22 cents per share, from $1.07 billion (28 cents) a year ago. Revenue climbed a solid 5% to $11.6 billion. Those results generally exceeded forecasts of stock analysts.

“I’m pleased by the overall performance of our businesses so far this year, particularly in light of the challenging economic environment, and that we’re on track to achieve our business outlook,” CEO Jeff Bewkes said in a statement. He cited theatricals The Dark KnightandSex and the City and TV show The Closer as generating solid results.

In its networks segment -- which encompasses Turner Broadcasting System and HBO -- revenue climbed 9% to $2.83 billion. In that segment, subscription revenue was up 10% and ad revenue up 11%, although revenue from content sales slipped 11%.

“Driving the increase in advertising revenues were Turner’s domestic entertainment and news networks, reflecting mainly audience growth and higher CPMs [cost per thousand homes],” the company said.

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