Time Warner Cable Profit Jumps on Asset Sales

Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) reported third-quarter 2012 earnings this morning. The cable system operator posted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.41 on revenues of $5.36 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported adjusted EPS of $1.11 on revenues of $4.91 billion. Third-quarter results compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $1.43 and $5.39 billion in revenues.

On a GAAP basis, the company posted EPS of $2.60 per share, compared with a year-ago EPS of $1.08. The larger unadjusted EPS is primarily due to the sale of the company's stake in SpectrumCo and Time Warner's stock buybacks. Time Warner dumped its stake in Clearwire Corp. (NASDAQ: CLWR) in the third quarter of 2011. Together, the SpectrumCo and Clearwire Sales added $1.11 to the company's EPS in the third quarter.

The company's CEO said:

Our third-quarter results were good, with most trends similar to the preceding quarter. Our operating results were driven by continued strong performance in residential high-speed data and business services, an acceleration in high-margin political advertising and the contributions from our Insight systems.

The company's operating margin was flat year-over-year at 20.4%. Average monthly video programming costs rose by 6.1% to $31.45 as rates from content providers increased

Time Warner did not provide additional guidance. The consensus estimates call for fourth-quarter EPS of $1.59 on revenues of $5.49 billion. For the full fiscal year, EPS is estimated at $5.66 on revenues of $21.42 billion

The company's shares are inactive in premarket trading this morning, having closed at $98.17 on Friday, in a 52-week range of $57.15 to $100.50. The consensus target price for the shares was around $109.15 before today's report.

Paul Ausick

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Cable Companies, Earnings, TV Tagged: CLWR, TWC