Media News

Time Warner plans cable services spin-off

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Time Warner Inc said on Wednesday that it planned to spin off its cable services division completely, as the one-time world’s biggest media company moves to restructure itself.

Chief Executive Jeffrey Bewkes has already taken steps to restructure the company, which also owns Time Inc and the Warner Bros movie studios, to help lift its sluggish stock price. Sources have said Time Warner had held discussions to merge its AOL online unit with Yahoo Inc.

“We’ve decided that a complete structural separation of Time Warner Cable, under the right circumstances is in the best interest of both companies’ shareholders,” Bewkes said in a statement.

Time Warner also said first-quarter net profit fell 36 percent to $771 million, or 21 cents per share, from $1.2 billion, or 30 cents per share, a year earlier, when it booked a big gain from the sale of AOL’s Internet access business in Germany and the unwinding of its cable partnership with Comcast Corp.

Excluding an impairment charge of a penny per share for its investment in video game developer SCi Entertainment Group, the company reported a profit of 22 cents per share, narrowly missing Wall Street forecasts of 23 cents, according to Reuters Estimates.

Revenue rose 2 percent to $11.42 billion, matching analysts’ estimates.

Reporting by Kenneth Li; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn