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Time Warner to Split AOL Units in 2009

The company said it will better be able to focus on branded content creation, as it posts a slight earnings beat for the second quarter.
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Time Warner


on Wednesday said it would split its AOL Internet access and advertising businesses into separate divisions next year, as the company beat Wall Street's second-quarter profit expectations by a hair.

CEO Jeff Bewkes said in addition to the company's previously announced plans to spin off its

Time Warner Cable


business, it would look to split the AOL business as well. He said the company's strategy would allow it to better concentrate on "creating, packaging and distributing the industry's most compelling content," including hit movies like

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"As we continue to reshape Time Warner, we'll increasingly focus on our goal to create and manage high-quality branded content, across multiple platforms around the world, at the highest returns possible for our stockholders," Bewkes said in a company statement.

The media company posted a net profit of $792 million, or 22 cents a diluted share, vs. $1.07 billion, or 28 cents a diluted share, in the year-ago period. Excluding one-time items, the company earned 24 cents a share in the quarter, beating the 23 cents-a-share consensus analyst estimate gathered by Thomson Reuters.

Total revenue increased to $11.56 billion in the second quarter, vs. $10.98 billion a year ago. Analysts had forecast revenue of $11.45 billion.

The company also guided to the high side of Wall Street's expectation for the full year. It sees full-year earnings per diluted share from continuing operations in the range of $1.07 to $1.11. Analysts see $1.08 a share.

Time Warner shares were falling 2.5% to $14.51 in recent trading.

This article was written by a staff member of