Time Warner Inc.: HBO, cable network performance trump soft ad market

Subscriber fees from HBO and Turner Networks channels helped Time Warner Inc. beat analysts' profit forecast for the 24th consecutive quarter, even with a soft advertising market.

Revenue for the conglomerate's Turner Networks division spiked 2 percent to $2.6 billion, with a 5 percent rise in subscription fee increases powerful enough to offset a 1 percent decline in advertising revenue, as well as a lengthy blackout of Turner channels on Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH).

Meanwhile, HBO revenue spiked 6 percent to $1.3 billion, with rising program packaging prices driving a 5 percent increase in subscription revenue.

Notably, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes did not disclose a launch date for the conglomerate's new HBO a la carte streaming service.

Overall, Time Warner reported a 1 percent decline in fourth-quarter profit to $7.53 billion, with adjusted operating income falling 10 percent to $1.6 billion. Earnings per share dropped to 98 cents from $1.07 a year ago, but that still beat forecasts of 94 cents.

Bewkes remains under pressure from investors to improve the company's bottom line after rejecting an $80 billion takeover offer from 21st Century Fox last year.

For more:
- visit this Time Warner investor relations page
- read this Bloomberg story
- read this Deadline Hollywood story
- read this Variety story

Related links:
It's really happening: HBO sets a la carte streaming plans for 2015
Turner wins cable's summer ratings race, lets programming architect Wright walk away
Time Warner looks to get bigger HBO revenue cut from pay-TV operators

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