Time Warner Earnings: A Stroke of Bad Luck

Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) revenue grew 4 percent in the first quarter, but impairment charges prevented the company from recording higher profit.

Revenue from the company’s TV and cable networks, which include TNT, CNN, and HBO, rose 3 percent to $2.6 billion in the quarter. Subscription revenues increased 5 percent and advertising revenues rose 6 percent.

Net income for Time Warner amounted to $581 million, or 59 cents a share, compared with $681 million, or 59 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The company bought back about 24 million shares between January 1 and April 27.

Adjusting for impairment charges, which include a $35 million charge related to the cancellation of HBO series “Luck” and a $52 million charge for shutting down a network in India, the company reported EPS of 67 cents, beating by 3 cents the average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

Revenue at the film division, which includes Warner Brothers studio, rose 7 percent in the quarter, lifted by the movie Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, which grossed about $535 million at the box office.

Revenue fell 3 percent at Time Warner’s publishing unit, which owns People, Sports Illustrated, and Time magazines, to $773 million on declining advertising and subscription sales.

Still, total revenue for the company rose 4.4 percent to $6.98 billion. Analysts were expecting revenue of $6.8 billion.

Time Warner reaffirmed its 2012 outlook.