Tags: time warner | earnings | profit | fox

Time Warner Tops Estimates as Fox Drops Bid

Wednesday, 06 Aug 2014 07:52 AM

Time Warner Inc., a day after Rupert Murdoch withdrew his $75 billion takeover bid, reported second-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ estimates and announced it will buy back $5 billion of its shares.

Earnings, excluding one-time items and the Time Inc. magazine unit, were 98 cents a share, the New York-based company said in a statement. Analysts predicted 84 cents on average. Sales increased to $6.79 billion, missing the average estimate of $6.88 billion.

The results help support Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bewkes’s argument that Time Warner’s own growth plan will create more value than any proposal Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox Inc. “is in a position to offer.” Bewkes needs to keep proving his standalone plan to investors after Fox withdrew its $85-a-share bid for the owner of the HBO and TNT cable channels and the Warner Bros. film studio.

Bewkes is relying on the growth of licensing fees for his cable networks to add to the company’s value. He set a goal for annual increases of at least 10 percent at Turner, despite ratings declines. The network’s sports programming, including professional basketball and baseball, helps justify increased fees from satellite and cable operators.

The licensing fees Time Warner gets for its cable channels gained 8 percent at Turner and 10 percent at HBO during the quarter. Pay-TV distributors including Comcast Corp. paid more to carry programming such as NCAA playoff games that aired on Turner’s networks in the quarter. HBO’s hit “Game of Thrones” had its fourth-season finale in June.

Time Warner reaffirmed its annual forecast, expecting adjusted profit to increase by a “low teens” percentage this year, up from a prior projection of about 10 or 11 percent. The company had adjusted profit of $3.51 a share in 2013, a figure that excludes Time Inc.

Shares of Time Warner fell as much as 14 percent to $72.85 in late trading Tuesday, following Fox’s withdrawal of its proposal after U.S. markets closed. Through Tuesday’s close, Time Warner had surged 20 percent since Murdoch’s bid was made public on July 16.

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Time Warner Inc., a day after Rupert Murdoch withdrew his $75 billion takeover bid, reported second-quarter earnings that beat analysts' estimates and announced it will buy back $5 billion of its shares.
time warner, earnings, profit, fox
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2014-52-06
Wednesday, 06 Aug 2014 07:52 AM
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