Time Warner gets lift from Harry Potter

@CNNMoney November 2, 2011: 8:40 AM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Harry Potter's final appearance on the big screen gave Time Warner earnings and revenue the lift they needed, prompting the company to raise its outlook for the year.

The media conglomerate said Wednesday it earned $836 million in adjusted net income, or 79 cents a share, in the third quarter. That's up 27% from the year-earlier period, and a bit better than the 76-cents-a-share forecast by analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.

Revenue rose 11% to $7.1 billion, just edging past the forecasts of just under $7 billion in sales from analysts.

Revenue was helped by ticket sales from "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2," which has done $1.3 billion in worldwide box office since its July release. That makes it the most successful movie in the eight film series that started in 2001, and the third highest grossing film in history, behind only "Avatar" and "Titanic."

"This was another terrific quarter for us, financially and strategically, putting us on pace to exceed our prior financial goals for the year," said CEO Jeff Bewkes in the company's earnings statement.

The company, whose holdings include Warner Bros. studios as well as Turner Broadcasting, Time Inc., HBO and CNNMoney, said it expects full-year earnings to rise "in the high teens" on a percentage basis. Three months ago, it was looking for earnings growth in "at least low teens."

The results from Harry Potter lifted earnings from Warner Bros. by 162% to $524 million. The movie wasn't the only positive for the company's studios unit, which also benefited from higher television license fees from being able to sell reruns of "The Big Bang Theory" to networks other than CBS (CBS, Fortune 500).

But earnings fell 4% at its networks unit, even though the total profit of $1.1 billion there more than double that from the studios. Advertising and subscription revenue at the networks both increased.

The company's publishing unit had the most difficult quarter, as profit fell 12% to $124 million. Publishing suffered from narrow declines in both subscription and advertising revenue.

Shares of Time Warner (TWX, Fortune 500) closed down 3% in trading Tuesday. To top of page

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