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Corporate earnings

Time Warner Inc.'s profits rose 21.2 percent in the fourth quarter on strong results from the company's cable TV, movie studios and cable networks businesses. The media conglomerate, whose array of properties includes HBO, CNN, Warner Bros., America Online and Time magazine, earned $1.37 billion in the last three months of 2005, up from $1.13 billion in the same period a year ago. On a per-share basis, earnings rose to 29 cents from 24 cents. Revenues rose 7 percent to $11.9 billion from $11.1 billion a year ago.

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Google Inc. said it earned $372.2 million, or $1.22 per share, for the final three months of 2005. That represented an 82 percent increase from net income of $204.1 million, or 71 cents per share, in the previous year. If not for a donation to launch its charitable foundation and stock compensation expenses, Google said it would have earned $1.54 per share. Google's revenue for the period totaled $1.92 billion, an 86 percent increase from $1.03 billion in the prior year.

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JetBlue Airways Corp. posted a fourth-quarter loss of $42.4 million, or 25 cents per share, reversing a year-ago profit of $1.5 million, or a penny per share. The results include $6.9 million in stock-compensation costs and a $6.1 million charge for development costs related to a discarded maintenance and inventory tracking system. Excluding those items, losses would have been $32 million, or 19 cents per share. Revenue jumped 34 percent to $446 million from $332.8 million a year ago.

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Starbucks Corp. said its first fiscal-quarter earnings rose 20 percent over last year, driven by strong holiday sales of its many coffee drinks. For the 13 weeks ended Jan. 1, the Seattle-based company said it earned $174 million, or 22 cents per share, up from $145 million, or 17 cents per share, in the comparable period a year earlier. Revenue for the latest quarter increased 22 percent to $1.93 billion, up from $1.6 billion in the comparable period last year.

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Allstate Corp. said fourth-quarter earnings dropped nearly 9 percent on sizable catastrophe losses from Hurricane Wilma, which battered south Florida in October. Net income totaled $1.04 billion, or $1.59 a share, down from $1.14 billion, or $1.63 a share, a year earlier. Excluding certain items, Allstate said operating income was down about 1 percent from a year earlier to $975 million or $1.49 a share. Revenue for the October-December period was up less than 1 percent to $8.95 billion.

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Anheuser-Busch Cos., the nation's biggest brewer, said its fourth-quarter profit plunged 39.5 percent as its sales were virtually steady compared with a year ago. The maker of Budweiser, Bud Light and other beers earned $201 million, or 26 cents per share, for the period ending Dec. 31, down from $332 million, or 42 cents per share, a year earlier. Gross revenue rose to $3.882 billion from $3.880 billion a year ago.

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