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Time Warner Q4 Earnings Up as HBO Caps Year of Record Subscriber Growth

AT&T should be pleased with these results

Time Warner unveiled its fourth-quarter and full-year 2017 earnings on Thursday morning — and (probable) soon-to-be parent company AT&T should be happy with what its (probably) getting. You know, if the DOJ allows the pending acquisition to go through. More on that later.

For the fourth quarter, Wall Street had forecast Time Warner’s earnings per share at $1.43 on revenue of $8.42 billion, according to a Yahoo Finance-compiled consensus. The company actually earned $1.75 per share on $8.6 billion in revenue. Nice.

HBO’s subscriber growth, Warner Bros. video games, and Turner’s Major League Baseball postseason rights all chipped in on the strong 90-day period. As a matter of fact, HBO just closed out a record year of sub growth, adding five million subscribers across the entirety of 2017.

Though the Warner’s Q4 box office was a bit of a dud when compared with last year’s three-month period — which included “Suicide Squad” — the past 12 months grossed more than $5 billion at the box office. That’s also a best-ever, which is a credit to “Wonder Woman,” “It,” and “Dunkirk.”

Jeff Bewkes will tell you all about that stuff below.

“We had another very successful year in 2017, achieving our financial goals thanks to the great creative and programming excellence across Time Warner,” the chairman and said in a statement. “All three of our operating divisions increased revenue and profits while also investing to capitalize on the growing demand for the most creative and compelling content as well as new ways to deliver it to audiences worldwide. Warner Bros. had its best year ever at the global box office with its films grossing over $5 billion in box office receipts, led by hits like ‘Wonder Woman,’ ‘It’ and ‘Dunkirk,’ which received eight Academy Award nominations, including for Best Picture. Warner Bros. also remains the No. 1 supplier of television shows for the broadcast networks, and saw continued growth in games with franchise releases ‘Middle-earth: Shadow of War’ and ‘Injustice 2.'”

“HBO again excelled with its combination of the biggest Hollywood hit movies and award-winning original programming — receiving more Primetime Emmy Awards in 2017 than any other network for the 16th consecutive year as well as four Golden Globe Awards in 2018 for ‘Big Little Lies,’ also the most of any network,” Bewkes continued. “Led by its great content, Home Box Office delivered its highest increase in domestic subscribers ever in 2017 and its best subscription revenue growth in over 20 years. Turner continued to deliver exceptional value with TBS, TNT and Adult Swim all ranking among ad-supported cable’s top five networks in primetime among adults 18-49 for the year. Turner claimed the No. 1 comedy across all television among adults 18-34 with Adult Swim’s ‘Rick and Morty,’ and CNN was the No. 1 digital news destination for the second year in a row.”

Due to its pending takeover by AT&T, Time Warner executives will not host its regular conference call this quarter.

As we’ve touched on a few times by now, AT&T is in the process of acquiring Time Warner. The mega-merger was halted by the Department of Justice — the two publicly traded companies will see the government in court on March 19.

“We remain excited about the proposed merger with AT&T, pending judicial review, and the potential to accelerate our pace of innovation and connect more directly with consumers,” Bewkes said in Thursday’s prepared remarks.

TWX stock closed Wednesday’s trading day up 90 cents per share. The U.S. stock markets reopen at 9:30 a.m. ET this morning.