AOL Time Warner Inc., the world’s largest Internet media company and parent company of New Line Cinema ,Wednesday reported a fourth-quarter that was shy of some Wall Street analysts’ estimates.
Since the merger — the largest in U.S. history — was not completed until Jan. 11 and because the two companies were not operating together during the fourth quarter, the results are reported as pro forma.
Time Warner warned of slower growth during the quarter in December, citing ad softness, weak music sales and poor box office performance by its New Lines Cinema’s “Little Nicky” movie.
During a meeting with investors, Chief Financial Officer Mike Kelly said the company sees first quarter adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization growth of 18 to 19 percent and 20 to 24 percent excluding its filmed entertainment division, which will be hampered by production costs during some of 2001.
The filmed entertainment unit will see momentum in the fourth quarter with the release of films such as “Harry Potter” and “Lord of the Rings.”