Turner Sees 5% Growth In 4Q Ad Sales

Time Warner’s Turner Broadcasting grew 4.5% in fourth-quarter advertising revenues -- above expectations -- with its cable news network a major factor.

Turner advertising climbed $1.21 billion from $1.15 billion -- largely due to the Major League Playoffs and big advertising sales for the presidential debates on CNN. Analysts were expecting Turner advertising sales to grow between 2% and 3%.

Affiliate fee revenues were slightly up 0.2% to $1.3 billion. Overall, Turner revenues grew 2% to $2.7 billion. As with other media companies, Turner was hurt by dollar foreign exchange considerations.

Among average prime-time viewers, CNN climbed 42% during the period with TBS up 8%, TNT down 13%, and HLN down 9%.

HBO’s revenues expanded 5.5% to $1.4 billion, with subscription revenues climbing 3.2% and content deals growing 20% to $224 million.



Warner Bros. witnessed lower revenue -- down 13.4% to $3.3 billion -- because of lower theatrical revenues. The year before, the studio had strong theatrical releases: “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” “Interstellar” and “Annabelle.” Like its sister Turner unit, foreign-exchange rates also had a negative impact.

Time Warner revenues were down 6% to $7.1 billion, with net income climbing 20% to $857 million from $718 million in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Wall Street took an initial negative reaction to Time Warner’s financial report -- down 6.5% to $59.07 in early Wednesday trading -- primarily due to the underperforming Warner studio revenues.

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