Ted Turner reportedly appears to be aging and blue these days after his alleged ousting from his foundling Time-Warner, which merged with AOL last year. Now add to that angst AOL Time Warner's strong first-quarter results.
Despite a first-quarter loss that included merger expenses and $620 million in a pretax non-cash charge for a reduction in carrying values of its investment portfolio, that loss was narrowed to $1.37 billion from $1.46 billion last year. Overall, in its first quarter after last year's merger, the media and communications company reported growth.
In cable, revenue climbed 12 percent to $1.6 billion, subscription revenue grew to $1.5 billion, and advertising and commerce revenue reached $117 million. The quarter ended with 12.8 million basic cable subscribers, it reports. That includes 400,000 more digital subscribers for a total 2.1 million and 237,000 new Road Runner subscribers for a total 1.2 million. Testing of VOD in multiple markets and multiple high-speed ISPs in Ohio is underway.
Other increases: EBITA was up 20 percent to $2.1 billion, excluding one-time events; cash earnings per share, up 21 percent; and revenues, up 9 percent to $9.1 billion over $8.3 billion in first-quarter 2000. Free cash flow reached $651 million, up 409 percent from last year, same time.
The company credits its 213 percent growth in TW Cable digital subscriptions and AOL's 2 million new members for the quarter.
Finally, advertising and commerce revenue climbed 37 percent to $721 million.
The company expects its full-year revenue to reach $40 billion.