Has Time Warner climbed out of its funk?

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Time Warner Inc. (TWX), the world's largest media conglomerate, has good news and bad news for investors. The good news is that it expects to meet its 2009 earnings targets. The bad news is that the results of the New York-based company were still lackluster.

Net income at the parent company of Warner Bros. film studios and CNN fell 34 percent to $519 million, or 43 cents a share, compared with $792 million, or 47 cents, a year ago. Revenue plunged 9 percent to $6.8 billion. On an adjusted basis, earnings topped the 45-cent average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. Shares of Time Warner, which have climbed more than 24 percent over the past three months, have not begun trading yet in pre-market action.

Gains in the company's Network business were more than offset by revenue declines in Publishing and AOL. Time Warner's Time Inc. magazine business posted an operating loss of $88 million as advertisers continue to shift their spending on line. AOL's operating income dropped to $165 million from $230 million a year earlier as the parent of DailyFinance continues to face slumping advertising sales and winds down its ISP business. Analysts have said AOL will need to prove to Wall Street how it will make up the difference before its planned spin-off, which the company said is on track for this year.

As for guidance, the conglomerate affirmed that it expects 2009 earnings to be little changed compared with the $1.98 posted in 2008. Analysts' forecasts are for profit of $1.99.
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