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Cable Technology Feature Article

February 09, 2012

Harry Potter Movie Helps Out Quarterly Profits at Time Warner as Company Expresses Confidence for 2012

By Ed Silverstein, TMCnet Contributor

Time Warner (News - Alert) saw its profits for the recent quarter go above what was predicted by analysts due to success at its cable networks and a recent Harry Potter movie, according to news reports.

Time Warner reported this week that its net profit increased to $773 million during 4Q compared to $769 million during 4Q in the prior year. In addition, company revenue edged up some five percent to $8.2 billion, Time Warner reported. Revenue for the quarter exceeded projections by analysts who predicted  $8.06 billion, according to a report from The Associated Press. Time Warner also announced an outlook for 2012 that is better than expected, according to a report from Reuters.

"Time Warner's cranking along well; they have momentum in ratings and ad revenue and they continue to invest well in programming," David Joyce, an analyst at Miller Tabak, told Reuters (News - Alert).

Time Warner owns CNN, Turner and Warner Bros. Time Warner’s cable networks, including HBO, were helped during the 4Q by a five percent jump in fees that are paid by satellite and cable distributors, Reuters said. In addition, Warner Brothers’ revenues increased seven percent during the quarter to $3.9 billion, Reuters adds. That jump was credited to more home entertainment, video games and video-on-demand opportunities with Netflix and other providers, according to Reuters.

In November, Time Warner released Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 on home video which led to increased revenues at Warner Brothers, according to news reports.

Recently, Time Warner also announced a $4 billion stock repurchase plan. The company also repurchased 136 million shares for $4.6 billion.

In a recent statement, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes said the company has "confidence” and “continued commitment to strong shareholder returns."

"In 2011, Time Warner had an ambitious agenda and we accomplished what we set out to do and more,” Bewkes said in a recent company press release. “That performance is a testament to the quality of our content, the strength of our brands, our creative and managerial talent and our competitive position.”

"For 2012, we will execute against the same strategic priorities that have driven our success in recent years: We're investing aggressively in programming, production and marketing,” Bewkes added. “We're further accelerating our Content Everywhere initiatives. We're expanding our presence internationally in attractive territories. And we're maintaining our strict focus on operating and capital efficiency."

One key part of the company, Time Warner Cable, now connects over 14 million U.S. customers to entertainment, information and other customers, according to a report from TMCnet.    

Ed Silverstein is a TMCnet contributor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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