Excerpt from our One Page Annotated Wall Street Journal Summary (receive it by email every morning by signing up here):
Time Warner Swings to a Profit; AOL to Give Away Email Accounts
Summary: Time Warner's Q2 results: Revenue up 1.2% to $10.71 billion. Advertising revenue up 11% to $2.24 billion. Net income of $1.01 billion. EPS $0.24. Free cash flow for H1 was over $2.6 billion. CEO Dick Parsons said that cable, movies and network TV delivered "standout operating performances" and AOL did better than expected. The company also confirmed that AOL will give away email accounts and content for free starting September, and announced that it would buy back $15 billion of stock by the end of 2006 and the rest of its $20 billion buy-back program in 2007.
Comment on related stocks/ETFs: Time Warner's Q2 revenue of $10.71 billion missed the consensus estimate of $10.99 billion, though EPS of $0.24 beat the consensus of $0.19. AOL's decision to give away its content for free has already been widely publicised and is therefore priced in to the stock. The speed of the decision to do this will probably have more impact on the competitors who now need to compete more for free web-based email subscribers: Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) MSN. You'll be able to read the full TWX transcript as soon as it's up here. And for entertainment value, here's a discussion of Steve Case's apology for the AOL-Time Warner merger.