Earnings Reports for Jan. 31

AOL Time Warner Reports 14 Percent Rise in Adjusted Earnings for Q4

AOL Time Warner, in the first combined earnings report since completing its merger, said today that its pretax earnings rose 14 percent in the fourth quarter from a year ago.

The company cited strong performances at its America Online service, cable television systems and publishing operations. Earnings from music, filmed entertainment and its TV networks were lower in the quarter.

Separately, the company said it plans to rename its CNNfn cable network as CNN Money later this year, and will offer more personal finance and small business coverage after the financial markets close.

AOL Time Warner said earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose to $2.4 billion compared with $2.1 billion a year ago. Revenues rose 8 percent to $10.2 billion from $9.46 billion a year earlier. The company reported year-ago figures as if AOL and Time Warner had already been merged at that time.

On a per-share basis, the results amounted to a profit of 14 cents a share, down from 48 cents a share last year. The results were in line with the expectations of analysts surveyed by First Call/Thomson Financial.

Including interest, taxes, preferred dividends and one-time items, AOL Time Warner said it lost $1.09 billion in the latest quarter in contrast to a loss of $201 million a year ago.

For the quarter, America Online added 2.1 million subscribers to bring its total to 26.7 million members by year-end. Its cable systems division reported 16 percent growth in its profit from operations on a 13 percent increase in revenue.

Publishing earnings rose 9 percent on a 7 percent revenue increase. The company's Time Inc. subsidiary is a major magazine publisher with titles such as Time, Sports Illustrated and People.

In its filmed entertainment division, AOL Time Warner said earnings fell 16 percent for the quarter as revenue increased slightly. Strong gains in sales of DVD-format videos were offset by weak performing new films from New Line Cinema like "Little Nicky" and lower revenue from sales of TV shows for rerun on television. Retail store sales also were weak. The company plans to divest its retail operations.

Music business earnings fell 10 percent to $178 million on flat revenue. The lower results in both music and movies were in line with a warning the company issued in December.

Earnings from its television networks including CNN, Turner Network Television, TBS Superstation and Cartoon Network slipped less than 1 percent in the quarter as revenue rose 4 percent.

For the year, AOL Time Warner said its earnings before interest, taxes and charges rose to $8.4 billion, or 94 cents a share, from $7.0 billion, or 71 cents a share, in 1999. On a net basis, the company's loss widened to $4.4 billion in 2000 from $2.5 billion in 1999. Full-year revenues rose 11 percent to $36.2 billion from $32.5 billion.

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Clorox Second-quarter Profits Down on Sales Decline

Household products maker Clorox said today net income fell 7.5 percent, before special charges, in line with its recent warning, as sales declined across many of the company's product lines.

The Oakland, Calif.-based maker of Clorox bleach, Glad plastic bags and Kingsford charcoal, said net income was $74 million, or 31 cents a share, before the charges, compared with $80 million, or 33 cents a share, a year ago.

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