Why Time Warner Earnings Report Is Boosting Share Prices

August 3, 2016 by Paul Ausick

Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX) reported second-quarter 2016 results before markets opened Wednesday. The entertainment giant posted quarterly adjusted EPS of $1.29 and $6.95 billion in revenues. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $1.25 on revenues of $7.35 billion. Second-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for $1.16 EPS and $7.05 billion in revenues.

In a separate announcement, Time Warner raised its full-year adjusted EPS guidance of $5.35 to $5.45, compared with the consensus estimate of $5.39. Both ends of Time Warner’s range were raised by a nickel. The company did not provide third-quarter guidance, but analysts have estimated EPS of $1.46 and revenues of $6.97 billion.

The company also announced that it has become a 10% owner of streaming video company Hulu, along with current co-owners Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS), Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (NASDAQ: FOXA) and Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ: CMCSA).

CEO Jeff Bewkes had this to say:

We had a strong first half of 2016, which puts us ahead of our original goals for the year. Our performance reflects the creative excellence resulting from investments we’ve been making in the very best content. At the same time, we’re capitalizing on new distribution opportunities to take advantage of the growing demand for high-quality video content around the world. … Today, we also announced our 10% investment in Hulu LLC and that Turner has separately signed an affiliate agreement for its full suite of networks to be carried on Hulu’s live-streaming service slated for launch early next year. These are just the latest examples of our commitment to supporting innovative digital services that allow consumers to access high-quality content however they want it across a variety of platforms.

The revenue miss appeared to have been cancelled out in investors’ minds Wednesday morning by the announcement of Time Warner’s new stake in Hulu. Audience growth for the company’s HBO channel is being driven by its digital platforms (HBO On Demand, HBO GO, and HBO NOW), according to a company announcement in mid-July. Casting a wider net should help continue that growth.

Shares closed down about 1.3% on Tuesday but added nearly 3% in Wednesday’s premarket action, trading at $78.00. The stock’s 52-week range is $55.53 to $85.70. Thomson Reuters had a consensus 12- month price target of $85.69 before the announcements.