Time Warner's Turner drives better-than-expected Q2 results


Michelle Clancy

| 06 August 2015

Time Warner has released its second-quarter earnings, beating analyst estimates with revenue of $7.35 billion, an 8% increase in year-over-year sales and a roughly 3.5% increase sequentially.

Earnings per share of $1.16 on net income of $971 million also beat the street and a represented a roughly 14% increase from $850 million in the second quarter of 2014.

The Turner segment delivered 20% adjusted operating income growth, while the Warner Bros segment saw adjusted operating income jump a big 46%. Performance in the segment was propelled by the sale of original content on the Hulu streaming platform, which is co-owned by competitors Twenty First Century Fox, Disney and Comcast. Strong content performance easily offset a roughly 1%, or $12 million, decline in overall advertising revenues, but domestic ad sales actually increased due to solid performance from Turner's news channels and the NCAA Basketball Tournament.

At Turner, TNT and TBS ranked as the No 1 and No 2 ad-supported cable networks, respectively, in prime time among adults 18-49, and together with Adult Swim claimed the top three spots in prime time among adults 18-34. Cartoon Network was again the only top three kids' network to grow its 6-11 audience during the quarter and claimed the No 2 spot for the first time. And CNN grew prime time viewership in its key 25-54 demo 25% with the help of its award-winning original programming. Warner Bros concluded a very successful upfront, with 62 programmes slated for the upcoming television season, including 29 on broadcast networks. That includes 20 returning shows, and makes Warner Bros the top supplier of broadcast series again this year.

Higher subscription revenues also contributed to segment gains, and a 9% drop in programming costs contributed to operating margins improvement.

Operating income performance from the HBO segment lagged a bit compared to the second quarter in the prior year.