AOL Time Warner Inc. chief financial officer Wayne Pace reiterated his
company's ad-revenue guidance for 2002 one day after an influential stock
analyst lowered her rating on the company following what she saw as
lower-than-expected advertising revenues this year.
Pace, speaking at the Deutsche Bank Media Conference 2002 in New York
Wednesday, reiterated AOL Time Warner's online-advertising forecasts for the
year of between $1.8 billion and $2.2 billion.
He also said online ad sales would pick up next year, after bottoming out in
the second half of 2002.
Pace reiterated full-year-2002 companywide forecasts of 5 percent to 8
percent revenue growth and 5 percent to 9 percent cash-flow growth.
On Tuesday, Lehman Bros. Inc. analyst Holly Becker lowered her ad-revenue
forecasts for the online unit to $1.79 billion from $1.94 billion and said she
expected online-advertising revenue to decline in 2003.
That report helped to drive AOL Time Warner stock down 5 percent Tuesday, or
89 cents each, to $17.20 per share.
Although Pace was optimistic, he said online-ad sales would likely lag behind
other company divisions. 'The thought is that there will be a market rebound,'
he added. 'Online will benefit later than TV and publishing.'
Pace also said negotiations regarding unwinding its Time Warner Entertainment
partnership with AT&T Corp. are ongoing. While offering no new information,
he said talks are amicable and he expected to reach a deal by the end of the
AOL Time Warner stock, which rose as high as $17.69 in early trading
Wednesday, fell 10 cents each to close at $17.10 per share.