Thanks to a strong performance from its cable networks including TNT and TBS, media giant Time Warner Inc. posted strong revenue and profit gains and beat the estimates of Wall Street analysts.
Revenue at Time Warner grew 10% to $7.4 billion and the company had net income of $771 million, or 81 cents a share, up from $413 million, or 42 cents a share, for the same period in 2012. Besides the Turner networks, Warner Bros., thanks to "Man of Steel," also helped drive results.
At Time Warner's network group, which includes Turner Broadcasting and HBO, revenue was up 7% to $3.8 billion and operating income grew 13% to $1.3 billion. Giving the Turner numbers a boost was NBA coverage on TNT and the NCAA Men's Basketball "March Madness" tournament, which is carried on several Turner networks.
Bewkes also praised CNN, which has improved its ratings under new chief Jeff Zucker. While he acknowledged that lots of breaking news stories were a factor, he said "we're seeing real progress."
When Martin takes the reins at Turner, Bewkes will have finished installing new leadership at the company's key units including Warner Bros. and HBO.
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