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Time Warner Q4 Results Top Estimates - Update

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Media and entertainment giant Time Warner Inc. (TWX) reported Wednesday a higher fourth-quarter profit, as revenues grew 5 percent, driven by its Filmed Entertainment and Networks segments. Adjusted earnings and revenues surpassed analysts' expectations.

In the fourth quarter, net income attributable to shareholders increased to $773 million or $0.76 per share from $769 million or $0.68 per share reported last year.

Adjusted earnings per share were $0.94, higher than $0.67 a year earlier. On average, 27 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings per share of $0.87 for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude one-time items.

Revenues for the quarter grew 5 percent to $8.19 billion from $7.81 billion in the same quarter last year, reflecting higher revenues at the Filmed Entertainment and Networks segments. Analysts estimated revenues of $8.06 billion for the quarter.

Networks segment revenues increased to $3.5 billion from $3.35 billion a year earlier. Filmed Entertainment generated revenues of $3.89 billion, higher than $3.64 billion in the preceding year. Home video and electronic delivery of theatrical product revenues were $1.16 billion, higher than $927 million in the prior year.

Operating Income margins improved to 20 percent from 18 percent in the year-ago quarter.

For the full year 2011, net income attributable to shareholders increased to $2.89 billion or $2.71 per share from $2.58 billion or $2.25 per share in the prior year. Adjusted earnings were $2.89 per share, compared to $2.41 per share last year. Annual revenues increased 8 percent to $28.97 billion.

Jeff Bewkes, chairman and chief executive officer of the company said, "In 2011, Time Warner had an ambitious agenda and we accomplished what we set out to do and more...While investing aggressively to drive our long-term growth, we also returned $5.6 billion to our shareholders through dividends and share repurchases."

For 2012, Time Warner anticipates percentage growth rate in adjusted earnings per share to be in the low double digits off a 2011 adjusted earnings per share base of $2.89.

The company said this full-year outlook exclude the impact of any future merger or unplanned restructuring and severance charges, the impact from sales and acquisitions of operating assets or the impact of taxes on the above items that may occur from time to time due to management decisions and changing business circumstances.

On February 7, the board increased the quarterly dividend by 11 percent to $0.26 per share, to stockholders of record on February 29, 2012, payable on March 15.

TWX closed Tuesday's regular trading at $38.10 on the NYSE. In the pre-market activity, the shares are up 2.41 percent.

by RTT Staff Writer

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