Time Warner Inc. (TWX)

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Time Warner (TWX)

Q3 2012 Earnings Call

November 07, 2012 10:30 am ET


Douglas Shapiro - Senior Vice President of Investor Relations

Jeffrey L. Bewkes - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

John K. Martin - Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer


Benjamin Swinburne - Morgan Stanley, Research Division

Michael Nathanson - Nomura Securities Co. Ltd., Research Division

John Janedis - UBS Investment Bank, Research Division

Jessica Reif Cohen - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

Tuna N. Amobi - S&P Equity Research

David Bank - RBC Capital Markets, LLC, Research Division

Richard Greenfield - BTIG, LLC, Research Division

Douglas D. Mitchelson - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division

Vasily Karasyov - Susquehanna Financial Group, LLLP, Research Division



Welcome to the Time Warner Inc. Third Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call. My name is Dawn, and I will be your operator for today's call. [Operator Instructions] Please note that this conference is being recorded. I will now turn the call over to your host for today, Mr. Doug Shapiro, Senior Vice President of Investor Relations for Time Warner. Please proceed.

Douglas Shapiro

Thanks, and good morning, everyone. This morning, we issued 2 press releases, one detailing our results for the third quarter and the other reaffirming our 2012 business outlook. Before we begin, there are 2 items I need to cover. First, we refer to certain non-GAAP financial measures. Schedules setting out reconciliations of these non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measures are included in our earnings release and trending schedules. These reconciliations are available on our website at timewarner.com/investors. Reconciliations of our expected future financial performance are also included in the business outlook release that's available on our site.

And second, today's announcement include certain forward-looking statements, which are based on management's current expectations. Actual results may vary materially from those expressed or implied by these statements due to various factors. These factors are discussed in detail in Time Warner's SEC filings, including its most recent annual report on Form 10-K and subsequent quarterly report on Form 10-Q. Time Warner is under no obligation and, in fact, expressly disclaims any obligation to update or alter its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Thanks. And with that, let me turn it over to Jeff.

Jeffrey L. Bewkes

Thanks, Doug, and thanks for listening in this morning. Overall, this was another successful quarter for us. As you all know, we face difficult comparisons at Warner Bros. this quarter. But in light of that, I was pleased with our performance. With one quarter left to go, we're on track for another very strong year. To me, the headline this quarter was the continued financial and operational strength at our Networks businesses. Our investments in content and technology over the last few years are clearly paying off, and we expect they'll keep paying off in 2013 and beyond.

John will walk through the financial results in a few minutes, but before that, I'll share with you some of the key operational highlights from the quarter. I'd like to start with Turner, where we're continuing to see good momentum across most of our Networks. This year, TBS is the #1 network on cable for adults 18 to 34, and it's the #2 network for adults 18 to 49. We posted another great quarter, up 35% in prime time in that demo.

The Big Bang Theory was again the #1 syndicated comedy on cable this quarter, and that's creating a great platform to launch new shows like Sullivan & Son and Men at Work, and it's lifting the rest of the schedule. Our Tyler Perry-produced comedies were up double digits this quarter, and Conan is the #1 hour-long talk show in late-night among young adults this year.

We intend to capitalize on our position in coming months as we launch several new originals. We're particularly excited about Cougar Town, which debuts in January. Last month, we announced a new contract with Major League Baseball that provides us TV and expanded digital rights through 2021. Baseball is a marquee property with a long history on TBS. And the post-season games we air are marquee programming for baseball fans and must-have programming for our affiliates.

Along with our NBA and NCAA rights, keeping baseball on TBS into the next decade helps position us very well for our upcoming affiliate renewal cycle. We also saw a continued improvement at TNT this quarter, highlighted by our originals. New shows like Major Crimes, Perception and Dallas were among the top 5 new series on cable this quarter, while The Closer, Rizzoli & Isles and Major Crimes were the top 3 series on all of cable.

Typically, we don't program original series against the launch of the broadcast season in September and October. However, we're excited about the line up over the next few months, which should provide a nice boost to TNT's ratings.

We're thrilled to have the NBA back on TNT after the delayed start that occurred for the season last year. And later this month, we'll also bring back originals like Rizzoli & Isles and Leverage. We'll build on this momentum heading into the first quarter, where we'll have more originals on TNT than ever before, double the number of episodes that we had during the first quarter of 2012.

We're also seeing continued strong performance for most of our other Networks. truTV just completed its best third quarter ever, and Adult Swim once again finished the quarter as the #1 network among young adults on all of cable.

Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com