(Adds dropped word "percent" in paragraph 2)
By Jessica Toonkel and Rishika Sadam
Feb 8 Time Warner Inc reported
higher-than-expected fourth-quarter results, largely due to box
office hits such as the "Harry Potter" spinoff "Fantastic Beasts
and Where To Find Them."
The New York-based media company, which AT&T Inc is in
the process of buying, reported an 11.5 percent rise in
quarterly revenue and said the merger remained on track to close
later this year.
U.S. President Donald Trump opposed AT&T's $85.4 billion bid
for Time Warner during his election campaign.
Time Warner, which owns film studio Warner Bros as well as
the CNN and HBO channels, reported net income of $317 million,
or 40 cents per share, from continuing operations, down from
$857 million, or $1.06 per share, a year earlier.
Excluding some items, the company earned $1.25 per share,
compared with the analysts' average estimate of $1.19.
Revenue rose to $7.89 billion from $7.08 billion. Analysts
on average had expected $7.72 billion, according to Thomson
Revenue from Warner Bros, the company's biggest revenue
generator, rose 17 percent to $3.87 billion.
"Fantastic Beasts" grossed more than $800 million globally
as of Feb. 5, according to tracking firm Box Office Mojo. (bit.ly/2kDA90R)
Revenue from HBO, home to popular shows such as "Game of
Thrones" and the new breakout series "Westworld," rose 5.6
percent to $1.49 billion.
Time Warner, which is losing its audience to streaming
services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, took a 10 percent
stake in video streaming site Hulu in August as part of its
efforts to keep users hooked.
The company also declared a quarterly dividend of 40.25
cents per share.
(Reporting by Jessica Toonkel in New York; Rishika Sadam and
Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)