Media giant Time Warner (TWX) reported Wednesday its third-quarter earnings fell 21% as the company took a hefty charge. Adjusted earnings, however, rose, handily topping analysts' estimates as revenue increased. The company also raised its 2010 earnings outlook.
"Time Warner achieved strong performance yet again in the quarter and ... we remain on track for a very strong year," said Chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes said.
Time Warner reported a profit of $522 million, or 46 cents a share, down from $662 million, or 55 cents, a year earlier. The company took a $295 million charge related to debt redemptions. Excluding items, earnings rose to 62 cents from 53 cents, beating estimates of 53 cents a share.
The company said overall revenue increased 1.8% to $6.38 billion, short of analyst estimates of $6.41 billion, according to Thomson Reuters. Last year's results still include AOL, DailyFinance's parent, which Time Warner spun off in December.
"Our networks businesses delivered robust growth in advertising and subscription revenues in the quarter," Bewkes added. "And Time Inc. again increased its share in overall domestic print advertising. In television, Turner, HBO and Warner Bros. all debuted new hit shows .... In film, Warner Bros. continued to benefit from the strong performance of our worldwide blockbuster Inception."
The company's networks division, which includes CNN and HBO, profit climbed 23%, and revenue rose 9% to $3 billion. Film earnings dropped 31% and revenues were flat at $2.8 billion even with the release of the blockbuster "Inception." But last year the latest Harry Potter film was released. Profit at Time Warner's publishing business rose 45% even as revenue declined 1.4%, helped by cost cuts. Advertising revenues grew 9%, driven by increases of 10% at Turner and 5% at Time Inc.
The company also raised its 2010 profit outlook, and now expects its full-year percentage growth rate in adjusted EPS to be in the high 20s off a 2009 Adjusted EPS base of $1.83. This compares to the prior outlook from August of at least 20%, as updated on August 4, 2010.
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