Time Warner reported a big gain in
earnings despite lower ad revenue at its cable network unit.
First-quarter net income was $729
million, or 77 cents a share, up 25% from $583 million, or 60 cents a share, a
Revenues were $6.9 billion, flat
from a year ago.
Revenues were below expectations,
but earnings were better than forecast by Wall Street. Analyst Marci Ryvicker of Wells Fargo said
the earnings improvement "was driven mostly by operations expense control."
"We're off to a strong start in
2013, making us even more confident in our full-year outlook," CEO Jeff Bewkes
said in a statement. "These results reflect the ongoing strength of our
content, particularly in television."
At Time Warner's Network group,
which includes Turner Broadcasting and HBO, operating income increased 11% to
$125 million. Revenues rose 3% to $3.7 billion.
Ad revenues were down 1%, despite
higher pricing at Turner's entertainment networks partly because of the timing
of the NCCA Men's Basketball Tournament and declines at the news network due to
Subscription revenues were up 5%
and content revenues were up 4%.
Amobi, analyst for Standard & Poor's Capital IQ, said the company beat Wall
Street estimates for earnings. He added that the company affirmed its low double-digit
earnings per share growth target for 2013, "with pending spin off plans for
publishing unit still seen enhancing its long-term growth profile."