Time Warner Reports Higher Q1 Earnings

Time Warner reported higher first-quarter profits on gains from all of its major operating units, including Turner Broadcasting and HBO.

Net income rose 17% to $1.4 billion, or $1.80 a share, compared to $1.2 billion, or $1.51 a share, a year ago.

Revenue rose 6% to $7.7 billion.

The results topped Wall Street estimates. The company is working to finalize its acquisition by AT&T.

At Turner Broadcasting, operating income increased 6% to $1.2 billion. Revenues rose 6% to $3.1 billion. Subscription revenues rose 12% and content revenues were up 16%. Advertising revenues were down 2% because of lower ratings at some domestic networks, partly offset by increases at CNN and in sports. International ad revenues were up.

Programming costs increased 17%, primarily due to bigger payments in the first year of a new deal with the NBA.

HBO’s operating income was up 22% to $583 million as revenues went up and costs declined.

Revenues increased 4% to $1.6 billion with subscription revenue up 5% because of higher domestic rates and subscribers, plus international growth. Content and other revenues slipped 1%. Programming costs were down 2% partly because the company changed its amortization formula.

Warner Bros. operating income rose 15% to $488 million as revenues rose 8% to $3.4 billion.

“We’re off to a strong start to 2017, as we continue to benefit from the investments we’re making in the best content while also developing new revenue streams that will drive growth and meet consumer demand for great experiences built around their favorite programming and brands,” said CEO Jeff Bewkes. “Looking ahead, we remain on track, pending completion of regulatory reviews and receipt of consents, to close our merger with AT&T Inc. before the end of 2017. We remain excited about the potential for this combination to accelerate the pace of innovation in our businesses.”

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.