AOLTW loss widens in Q3, but revenue grows

Internet and media conglomerate AOL Time Warner Inc. (AOLTW) made a net loss of US$996 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30, the company reported Wednesday, compared to a pro forma net loss of $902 million in the third quarter last year. Total revenue rose 6 percent to $9.3 billion, compared to pro forma revenue of $8.8 billion in the year-ago quarter.

This quarter's loss includes a write-down of $196 million in pretax, noncash charges for certain investments, and $134 million in merger-related expenses. In the year-ago quarter, the pro forma loss included $52 million for merger-related expenses and a $65 million net investment-related gain, the company said. The pro forma figures for last year were presented as if the merger of America Online Inc. and Time Warner Inc. had taken place on Jan. 1, 2000.

Cash earnings were stronger, the company said, led by the growth of subscriber revenue for its America Online Internet division.

AOLTW earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) surged 20 percent to US$2.5 billion, or $0.30 a share, compared to a pro forma figure of $2.1 billion or $0.21 a share in the year-ago period.

A Thompson Financial/First Call survey of analysts predicted cash earnings of $0.26 a share.

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