Time Warner Scores Q3 Growth behind Cable Nets

Networks Unit Rings Up 12% Advance in Adjusted Operating Income

Time Warner's third-quarter earnings rose as its cable networks businesses grew at double-digit rates.

Net income was $838 million, or 86 cents a share, compared to $822 million, or 78 cents per share.

Revenues fell 3% to $6.8 million.

 "With one quarter left to go in 2012, we're on track for another very strong year," Jeff Bewkes, CEO of Time Warner, said in a statement. "The highlight this quarter was the strength of our networks businesses, which delivered double-digit adjusted operating income growth. This performance illustrates that our investments in content and technology are continuing to pay off.

"I'm very confident about how we're positioned heading into next year and beyond," Bewkes added. "Reflecting that confidence and our continued commitment to improving shareholder returns, through November 2 we've purchased approximately $2.3 billion of our stock this year."

At the company's networks unit, comprising Turner Broadcasting and HBO, adjusted operating income increased 12% to $1.2 billion. Programming expenses were flat.

Revenues rose 4% to $3.3 billion. Subscription revenues rose 7%, but advertising revenues declined 1%, mostly because of decreases at the international networks, which were hurt by foreign currency rates and the shutdown of operation in India and Turkey.

Time Warner said it reaffirmed its outlook for the full year, said that net income will be up in the low double-digits.

"Q3 results were better than we had expected although mixed versus the Street," said Marci Ryvicker, analyst at Wells Fargo. "We think a strong networks segment is the key to this story and think any acceleration in the buyback could also be a positive driver."

Time Warner said it has repurchased about 59 million shares of its own stock for about $2.3 billion. As of November 2, about $2.1 billion remained under the company's stock repurchase authorization.