Cable Networks Help Push Time Warner Net

Time Warner reported higher third quarter earnings as ad revenues at its cable networks jumped and costs were kept under control.

Net income rose 44% to $1.2 billion, or $1.26 a share, in the third quarter, from $822 million, or 84 cents a share, a year ago.

Revenues were flat at $6.9 billion in the quarter.

"We had another strong quarter and remain on track for another very successful year, thanks to our commitment to great storytelling across the company," Jeff Bewkes (pictured), CEO of Time Warner Inc., said in a statement.

"The biggest driver was again our Networks segment, which grew adjusted operating income by double digits and posted its highest quarterly profits ever."

The company said it continues to expect full year growth in adjusted earnings per share to be up at a mid-teens rate from 2012's $2.24 a share.

At Time Warner's Network division, which includes Turner Broadcasting and HBO, adjusted operating income rose 12% to $1.4 million. Programming costs decreased 3% because of lower costs for acquired films and syndicated series and the timing of originals and sports programming.

Revenue at the networks division was up 5% to $3.5 billion. Subscription revenues were up 4% thanks to higher domestic rates and international growth. Advertising revenue rose 11% because of higher prices and demand at Turner's domestic entertainment networks and increases at Turner's international networks.

Time Warner said it repurchased 50 million of its shares for $3 billion this year through Nov. 1, including about 18 million shares bought for $1.2 billion since the company's second-quarter earnings release in August.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.