‘Fantastic Beasts’ Boosts Time Warner in Q4

The Harry Potter spinoff has grossed more than $800 million at the global box office, fueling a 17% increase in Warner Bros. revenue.
Matthew HellerFebruary 8, 2017
‘Fantastic Beasts’ Boosts Time Warner in Q4

Time Warner’s fourth-quarter revenue and profit beat analysts’ expectations as the media conglomerate benefited from hits such as the movie “Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them” and the HBO series “Westworld.”

Time Warner on Wednesday reported that revenue rose 11% to $7.9 billion due to increases at all its operating divisions, with revenue from Warner Bros, the company’s biggest revenue generator, increasing 17% to $3.87 billion.

“Fantastic Beasts,” the Harry Potter spinoff, grossed more than $800 million globally as of Feb. 5, according to tracking firm Box Office Mojo, while revenue from HBO rose 5.6% to $1.49 billion.

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Net income from continuing operations fell to $317 million, or 40 cents per share, from $857 million, or $1.06 per share, a year earlier. But on an adjusted basis, Time Warner earned $1.25 per share, compared with the analysts’ average estimate of $1.19.

For 2016 as a whole, revenue increased 4% to $29.3 billion and adjusted earnings rose 23% to $5.86 per share.

“We had another very successful year in 2016, demonstrating once more Time Warner’s ability to deliver strong financial performance alongside creative and programming excellence,” CEO Jeff Bewkes said in a news release. “All our operating divisions increased revenue and profits while also making investments to capitalize on the growing demand for the very best video content and new ways to deliver it to audiences around the world.”

Bewkes said Warner Bros. is once again the No. 1 supplier of television shows for the broadcast networks and the studio had its second-best year ever at the global box office, nearing $5 billion in receipts with such hits as “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” “Suicide Squad,” and “Fantastic Beasts.”

Time Warner’s $85.4 billion acquisition by AT&T is the subject of speculation over whether it will pass regulatory muster with the Trump administration.

“The deal … will accelerate our efforts to spur innovation in the media industry and further strengthen our businesses,” Bewkes said. “We remain on track to close the transaction later this year.”

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