Restructuring Costs Cut Time Warner Earnings in Q4

Time Warner reported lower fourth-quarter earnings because of restructuring and programming charges.

Net income was $718 million, or 84 cents a share, down 27% from $983 million, or $.106 cents a share, a year ago. Excluding programming charges at Turner and restructuring and severance charges, adjusted EPS would have been $1.14 compared to $1.07 a year ago.

Revenues fell 1% to %7.5 million.

The earnings beat lowered Wall Street expectations while revenues lagged most forecasts. Time Warner also moved to please investors by increasing its quarterly dividend by 10% to 35 cents a share.

Time Warner said that for 2015, it expected adjusted diluted income per common share from continuing operations to be between $4.60 and $4.70.  Adjusted earnings per share were $4.15 for 2014, up 18%.

“We had another very successful year in 2014, with solid revenue growth and robust 18% Adjusted EPS growth – our sixth consecutive year of at least high teens Adjusted EPS growth,” CEO Jeff Bewkes said in a statement. “Our financial performance reflects the strength of our position as the world’s leading video content company.”

At Turner, adjusted operating income rose 5% to $921 million despite $44 million in charges for programming it will stop airing and $26 million in restructuring and severance charges.

Revenue rose 2% to $2.6 billion. Subscription revenues were up 5%, hurt a bit by Turner’s carriage dispute with Dish Network. Advertising revenues were down 1%. Ad revenue at Turner’s domestic entertainment networks was down because of lower ratings and fewer baseball playoff games. Ad revenues were up at CNN and Turner’s international networks.

For HBO fourth-quarter operating income declined 4% to $394 million because of higher programming, distribution and marketing costs. Programming costs were up 15%. Revenues rose 6% to $1.3 billion.

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.