Time Warner Earnings Beat Projections on Videogame Releases, TV Deals

Batman: Arkham Knight game
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

Videogame hits like “Batman: Arkham Knight” and new licensing deals for older shows like “Seinfeld” and “The Big Bang Theory” lifted revenues at Time Warner by 8% during the most recent fiscal quarter.

They topped out at $7.3 billion, up from $6.8 billion in the year-ago period. Earnings per share for the three months ending in June finished up at $1.25, compared to $0.98 in last year’s second quarter. Net income hit $971 million — a 14% increase from $850 million in the year-ago period.

That easily topped Wall Street projections. Analysts projected revenue of $6.9 billion, on earnings per share of $1.03.

Coupled with the earnings release, Time Warner announced that a quarterly cash dividend of $0.35 per share, that will be paid on September 15.

It was a quarter that saw the launch of HBO’s standalone streaming service, HBO Go, as well as the debuts of summer blockbuster hopefuls like “San Andreas” and “Mad Max: Fury Road.” The new streaming arm, as well as the most recent season of “Game of Thrones,” goosed subscription revenues by 4% or $40 million at HBO, the company said. However, operating income at the premium cable channel fell 7% to $508 million on higher content costs.

At Turner, revenues increased 3% to $2.8 billion largely due to licensing deals with Hulu and the growth of its international networks. That helped offset a modest 1% dip in advertising revenue. Operating income at the division rose 22% to $1.1 billion.

Warner Bros.’ film business suffered from lower home entertainment revenues and flops like “Hot Pursuit” and “Entourage,” but got a lift from the debut of “Batman: Arkham Knight” and “Mortal Kombat X,” as well as syndication deals for its television programming. Revenues at the studio increased 15% to $3.3 billion, while operating income climbed 46% to $344 million.

For the first six months of 2015, Time Warner said it had repurchased approximately 24 million shares of common stock for approximately $2 billion.

Shares of Time Warner closed Tuesday down .15% at $87.65.