Time Warner (TWX) Tops Q4 Views as HBO Gains Fans

February 6, 2013 8:16 AM EST
Time Warner (NYSE: TWX) is popping higher in early trading Wednesday following strong fourth-quarter results and outlook issued earlier.

Revenue for the media giant fell modestly to $8.16 billion, while net income improved 51 percent to $1.17 billion, or $1.21 per diluted share. Adjusting for certain items, EPS came in at $1.17.

The Street was looking for revs of $8.25 billion and EPS of $1.10.

Filmed Entertainment revs slipped 4 percent to $3.7 billion, mainly due to tough comps from the home release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Publishing revs fell 7 percent to $967 million, while sub revs were flat.

Network revenue rose 5 percent to $3.7 billion, bolstered by a 7 percent gain in sub revs. Time Warner commented, "Similar to the full year results, the increase in Subscription revenues resulted mainly from higher domestic rates and, to a lesser extent, an increase in domestic subscribers at HBO and international growth, partially offset by the negative effect of foreign currency exchange rates."

Looking ahead, Time Warner sees 2013 adjusted EPS growing in the low-double-digit range over 2012 (EPS of $3.28). A 13 percent gain hints at EPS of $3.70, versus the consensus of $3.65.

Time Warner is also giving more back to shareholders via an increased dividend to 28.75 cents, up 10.6 percent from the prior rate.

"For the year, Adjusted Operating Income grew 4% to a record $6.1 billion, and Adjusted EPS rose 13% to $3.28. And, in the fourth quarter, both our Networks and our Film and TV Entertainment segments achieved record profits, with our overall Adjusted Operating Income up 16% and Adjusted EPS up 24%," commented CEO Jeff Bewkes. "Last year, we also continued to successfully execute against our key strategic priorities, which are to invest aggressively in our content, to lead the digital transition of our industries, to expand internationally and to exercise financial discipline in everything we do. That was evident as HBO won more Primetime Emmy and Golden Globe Awards than any other network; TBS was the number one ad-supported cable network in primetime among adults 18-34; TNT had 5 of the top 10 original programs on ad-supported cable; CNN won election night; Warner Bros."

Shares are nearly 4 percent higher in early trading.

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