AOL Time Warner revenue rises; loss narrows

AOL Time Warner Inc. reported a 9 percent increase in revenue for its first quarter as the media conglomerate saw gains in subscription, advertising and content revenue. Still, the company said it will post a net loss of US$1.4 billion or $0.31 a share for the quarter ending March 31.

The loss is because of merger-related expenses and pre-tax non-cash charges of $620 million, reflecting the write-down of certain investments in the AOL Time Warner investment portfolio, AOL Time Warner said in a statement. This year’s loss compares to a loss of $1.5 billion or $0.34 a share for the same quarter last year.

Total revenue rose 9 percent to $9.1 billion during the first quarter compared to $8.3 billion during the same time in 2000. Cash earnings per share were $0.23 a share compared to $0.19 a share for the same time last year.

Twenty analysts polled gave a consensus on cash earnings of 20 cents a share, according to First Call/Thomson Financial on Wednesday. Four analysts expected revenue for the first quarter of $9.022 billion.

The company’s EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization), which helps measure cash flow, grew 20 percent to $2.1 billion from $1.8 billion, AOL Time Warner said.

AOL Time Warner, meanwhile, saw its total subscription base grow to 133 million, and the company’s AOL online service added 2 million new members for a total of 28.8 million, the company said.

During the quarter, revenue from cable operations grew 12 percent to $1.6 billion. Subscription revenue increased 12 percent to $1.5 billion and advertising and commerce revenue rose 17 percent to $117 million, the company said.

AOL Time Warner released its first quarter results prior to the opening of the U.S. financial markets. Shares of AOL Time Warner (AOL) closed up $0.59, or 1.36 percent, to $43.90 on Tuesday.

AOL Time Warner, in New York, can be contacted at +1-212-484-8000 or found online at