Q4 saw revenues rise 5% to $8.2 billion for Time Warner. Adjusted operating income rose 9% to $5.9 billion, so CEO Jeff Bewkes was upbeat as he reported to investors and analysts.
“In 2011, Time Warner had an ambitious agenda and we accomplished what we set out to do and more. We increased revenues 8%, Adjusted Operating Income 9%, and Adjusted EPS by 20%, which means we more than doubled Adjusted EPS over the past three years. That performance is a testament to the quality of our content, the strength of our brands, our creative and managerial talent and our competitive position. We also continued to roll out Content Everywhere versions of our products across all our divisions, harnessing technology to give consumers more ways, places and platforms on which to enjoy our great content. While investing aggressively to drive our long-term growth, we also returned $5.6 billion to our shareholders through dividends and share repurchases,” Bewkes said.
“For 2012, we will execute against the same strategic priorities that have driven our success in recent years: We’re investing aggressively in programming, production and marketing. We’re further accelerating our Content Everywhere initiatives. We’re expanding our presence internationally in attractive territories. And we’re maintaining our strict focus on operating and capital efficiency. Reflecting both our confidence and our continued commitment to strong shareholder returns, today we also announced an increase in our dividend and a new $4 billion stock repurchase authorization,” the CEO added.
At Wells Fargo Securities, analyst Marci Ryvicker noted that media networks ad revenues grew 2.3% for Time Warner, driven by international.
Looking ahead to 2012, she noted from the conference call that “management is cautiously optimistic with regard to advertising and anticipates ad revenues to be up mid single digits; networks profits are expected to grow faster in 2012 versus 2011, softness in publishing continues into Q1, foreign exchange likely will have 200bp drag on revenue and adjusted operating income in F2012; film profitability should be H2 loaded (similar to 2011); first half has a tough comp at the media networks; and free cash flow to EBITDA conversion should be at the same level in 2012 as it was in 2011.”