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As good as stock performance has been in 2012, media stock
Time Warner(TWX - Get Report) has managed to do even better. Shares of the $42 billion firm have rallied more than 24% so far this year, on top of a 2.3% dividend payout.
Time Warner's impressive performance has everything to do with its valuable vault of content. The firm owns a portfolio of television networks that include HBO, CNN and TNT, the largest combined film studio in the world in Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema, and a publishing arm that produces print names like People and Time.
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Since 2009, TWX has become a content pure-play. The firm split off its cable utility and internet service provider from the rest of the company, taking some of the more capital-intense assets off of its balance sheet and unlocking shareholder value through a series of spin-offs. The biggest benefit to Time Warner today is the fact that the firm is able to share content between units to earn a higher return on every title in its library. Films produced at Warner Bros. can be promoted on TNT, and then shown on the network down the line, in both cases earning the stock more money than a less integrated name could muster.
TV is Time Warner's cash cow. The unit is fuelled by original content, which Time Warner has been increasingly using to generate unconventional revenues through online streaming content deals with the likes of
Investors should keep a closer eye on this Rocket Stock as earnings approach on Nov. 7.
Time Warner shows up on lists of
10 Multimedia Stocks With Double the S&P 500's Gains and
5 Rising Dividend Payers for a Bullish but Skittish Stock Market.