Time Warner has reported a bigger-than-expected 80% jump in quarterly profit.The world’s largest media company also said it will more than double its planned buyback of shares over the next nearly two years.It now plans to spend just over 10 billion euros on the stock buyback rather than the previously announced four billion.
That comes in response to concerns expressed by billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn that Time Warner needs to restructure, cut costs and return value to shareholders.The future of the company’s internet arm AOL is very much in focus.
Chief Executive Richard Parsons confirmed the media conglomerate is in talks with what he called “a number of strategic partners” without naming them.
He was also coy about what “potential strategic relationships and transactions” might emerge.Reportedly Microsoft, Google and Comcast are interested in buying a minority stake in the online unit. AOL merged with Time Warner at the height of the dot.com boom .. in what is now thought to be one of the worst such deals.
Advertising revenue at AOL rose 28% but overall revenue fell 5% as it lost subscribers. On the film front, “Batman Begins” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” helped boost WB’s studio revenue by 6%.