Experts expect higher Turner revs

ATLANTA (Reuters) — Analysts are predicting improved revenue and cash flow when Turner Broadcasting System Inc. reports second quarter results today , but most are not focusing on earnings numbers.

“We’re looking for about 10% revenue growth and slightly faster growth in cash flow and operating income — about 11% to 12%,” said John Reddan, media analyst for Moran & Associates.

But, Reddan said, the company’s income could fall within a wider range. “The range the analysts have is somewhere from 9 cents to 17 cents (per share) with the median being about 13 cents,” Reddan said.

In last year’s second quarter, Turner made a net income of 14 cents per share on revenues of $ 409.9 million.

John Reidy, securities analyst at Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co., said Turner has not focused on the bottom line.

Reidy also said he is focusing on cash flow from continuing operations and expects to see improvement in that category. TBS president and chief executive officer R.E. (Ted) Turner’s penchant for expansion and acquisition has long depressed bottom line results, analysts have said.

Even as recently as last week, reports surfaced of Turner’s interest in acquiring two indie production companies, New Line Cinema Corp. and Castle Rock Entertainment (Daily Variety, Aug. 5).

Turner refused to comment last week on possible talks with New Line and Castle Rock, but both companies confirmed that they are in separate negotiations for some type of alliance with Turner. German media conglomerate Bertelsmann confirmed this week it is also in negotiations with Castle Rock.

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