UPDATE 1-Time Warner posts higher third-quarter profit

Wed Nov 7, 2012 7:55am EST

* Earnings of 86 cents a share beat estimate of 82 cents

* Reports growth in cable revenue, declines in film unit

* Keeps financial outlook for 2012

By Liana B. Baker

Nov 7 (Reuters) - Time Warner Inc posted a higher third-quarter profit on Wednesday as growth in its cable networks offset declines in its film and TV entertainment business.

Net income for the company, which owns a host of cable networks, premium TV service HBO, magazines and a movie studio, rose to $838 million, or 86 cents a share, from $822 million, or 78 cents a share, a year earlier.

The results beat the analysts' average estimate of 82 cents per share compiled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue fell 3 percent to $6.84 billion. Analysts were expecting $6.89 billion.

The company affirmed its full-year outlook, which calls for earnings growth, excluding special items, at a low double-digit percentage rate from $2.89 a share last year. Analysts have forecast $3.20.

A day earlier, Time Warner peer Discovery Communications Inc cut its revenue outlook for the year. [ID: nL1E8M620D]

Also on Tuesday, media company News Corp reported strength in its cable unit, lifted by growth at regional sports networks, the FX cable network and Fox news channel.

Time Warner logged a 4 percent revenue increase at its networks division, which includes TNT, TBS, HBO and CNN. But the growth stemmed from subscription revenue from cable operators, while advertising in the segment fell 1 percent.

Revenue at the film and TV entertainment unit dropped 12 percent, or $400 million, from a year earlier, when the company released "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2," the final installment in the fantasy series.

Revenue in the publishing unit, whose titles include Time and Sports Illustrated, declined 6 percent, or $51 million, as advertising sales and subscription revenue fell.

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