'Gravity' and HBO Generate Record Revenue for Time Warner (TWX)

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Time Warner (TWX) posted record quarterly revenue in the fourth quarter, carried by the success of Oscar-nominated "Gravity" and the growth of subscription-only HBO.

The media conglomerate posted $8.6 billion in quarterly sales, a 5% year-over-year increase, and net income of $1.17 a share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected $8.4 billion in revenue and per-share earnings of $1.15.

HBO, formerly grouped with Turner Broadcasting Systems' CNN and TBS, reported a 6% increase in revenue thanks to 8% growth in subscription sales over the quarter.

Over the full year, revenue for the channel, which counts critic favorite "Game of Thrones" among its programs, rose 4% to a total $4.9 billion.

"HBO remains in a league of its own, once again receiving the most Primetime Emmy Awards of any network, while tying for the most Golden Globe Awards and recording its biggest gain in domestic subscribers in 17 years," said Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes in a statement.

At the company's movie studio, Warner Bros., quarterly revenue spiked 7% to $4 billion on the back of strong theatrical releases for "Gravity" and "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" and video game sales of "Batman: Arkham Origins." The division received an industry-leading 21 Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture for "Gravity" and "Her."

Full-year revenue saw slower growth of 2% to $12.3 billion, with sales hampered by lower television licensing income.

Publishing arm Time Inc. reported that full-year revenue declined 2%, a result of falling newsstand and domestic subscription revenue. Time Warner said the Sports Illustrated publisher is on track to be spun-off into a separately-traded company by the end of the second quarter.

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