Time Warner 1Q earnings beat expectations

Earnings HQ: FBN's Adam Shapiro breaks down Time Warner's first-quarter earnings report.

Time Warner Revenue Rises Nearly 5%

Earnings Reuters

Time Warner Inc. (TWX) reported better-than-expected profit and revenue growth in its first quarter, as March Madness programming helped drive audience growth in its Turner segment.

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Time Warner said Turner's strength helped to offset declines at Warner Bros. and Home Box Office.

Time Warner, parent of Warner Bros. film studio and cable channels HBO, TNT and CNN, has been working to fashion a business model as the Internet remakes the television landscape, in part by targeting so called "cord-cutters," or people without pay-TV subscriptions. Earlier this month, the company began selling a broadband-only version of HBO, dubbed HBO Now, through both digital distributors such as Apple Inc. and traditional partners such as Cablevision.

The online-HBO offering helps Time Warner compete for the growing audience of people who consume their programming online from Netflix Inc. and others. But the move risks alienating companies that have distributed Time Warner's programming for decades.

For the quarter ended March 31, Time Warner reported earnings of $970 million, or $1.15 a share, down from $1.29 billion, or $1.42 a share, a year earlier. Excluding items, earnings were $1.19 a share.

Revenue grew 4.8% to $7.13 billion.

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Analysts were expecting earnings of $1.09 a share on revenue of $7 billion.

Turner revenue grew 4.5% to $2.7 billion as advertising revenue grew 4%. Time Warner cited the NCAA tournament and its news business for the growth.

Warner Bros., the largest top-line contributor, posted 4.3% growth in revenue to $3.2 billion, as television licensing revenue grew due to the subscription video-on-demand sale of "Friends."

HBO revenue edged up to $1.4 billion from $1.3 billion a year ago.