Suicide Squad
Will Smith and Margot Robbie in "Suicide Squad." Clay Enos — Warner Bros.

‘Suicide Squad’ Helps Time Warner Beat Profit Expectations

Nov 02, 2016

Time Warner, the media company being bought by AT&T, reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue on Wednesday, helped by the box office success of superhero movie Suicide Squad.

Shares of the company, which owns HBO, CNN, Cartoon Network, and the Warner Bros film studio, climbed 2% to $90 in premarket trading.

Dallas-based AT&T said last month it would buy Time Warner for $85.4 billion in a bold move to acquire content. AT&T's offer valued Time Warner at $107.50 per share.

Revenue from Warner Bros, the company's biggest unit by revenue, rose 6.7% to $3.4 billion in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, Time Warner said.

Until Suicide Squad, which hit movie screens in early August, Warner Bros has had few hit releases in recent quarters. As of Oct. 30, Suicide Squad had grossed about $325 million, according to Box Office Mojo.

Revenue at Time Warner's HBO unit, home to Game of Thrones and True Detective, rose 4.3% to $1.43 billion.

HBO faces stiff competition from streaming video services such as Netflix and Amazon.com's Prime service.

Time Warner took a 10% stake in video streaming site Hulu in August, setting its sights on the web TV market.

The company's net income rose to $1.47 billion, or $1.86 per share, in the third quarter from $1.04 billion, or $1.26 per share, a year earlier.

According to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, Time Warner earned $1.55 per share, excluding a tax benefit of 28 cents per share and other items, beating the average analyst estimate of $1.37.

Revenue rose 9.2% to $7.17 billion.

Analysts on an average had expected revenue of $6.98 billion.

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