Shares are up modestly in pre-market trading after Time Warner announced that it is increasing its dividend and plans to repurchase $4B in stock — and disclosed better-than-expected 4Q results. Net income came in at $773M, up 7.8% vs the last three months of 2011, on revenues of $8.2B, up 4.9%. Analysts expected revenues to come in lighter, at $8.07B. Earnings, at 94 cents a share, were well ahead of the 87 cents the Street anticipated. Filmed entertainment contributed $3.9B in revenues, up 7%, despite declines from theatrical releases and TV license fees. The company says that home entertainment, videogames, and new revenues from online VOD services such as Netflix lifted the unit. Over at the cable networks, revenues increased 5% to $3.5B. Fees from pay TV providers rose 5%. Analysts weren’t expecting much from ad sales, yet they were up 2% — mostly due to strength overseas. Turner’s content licensing revenues rose 16%. Magazine publishing remained the weak link with revenues down 1% to a little over $1B. Ad sales there were flat while subscription revenues fell 2%. Even so, its operating income rose 21% to $207M without the severance charges that it incurred a year ago. CEO Jeff Bewkes says that Time Warner is “investing aggressively in programming, production and marketing” as it maintains “our strict focus on operating and capital efficiency.” The company increased its quarterly dividend by 11% to 26 cents a share. Separately, the company said that it expects its Adjusted EPS to rise “in the low double digits” in 2012 from last year’s $2.89.
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