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Time Warner's adjusted income rises

A stronger box office slate, a new deal with Netflix and a better TV advertising climate contributed to growth at Time Warner Inc. to start off 2012.

Although earnings fell 11 percent during the first three months of the year because of restructuring charges, adjusted income beat Wall Street's expectations on the strengths of the company's movie studio and TV network businesses.

Those gains offset weakness in the magazine division.

Time Warner said Wednesday that it had first-quarter net income of $583 million, compared with $653 million a year earlier. Both translated to 59 cents a share because the company now has fewer shares outstanding.

Excluding one-time factors, Time Warner had adjusted income of 67 cents a share, better than the 64 cents expected by analysts surveyed by FactSet. The charges primarily related to shutting down a TV network in India and selling a school-fundraising business called QSP.

The New York-based company's adjusted income a year ago was 58 cents.

Revenue grew 4 percent to $7 billion, ahead of expectations of $6.82 billion. It was $6.68 billion last year.

Time Warner's cable TV networks, which include CNN, TBS, TNT and HBO, saw revenue grow 3 percent to $3.6 billion. Besides strong ad rates, the company benefited from better timing of March Madness basketball games and higher fees collected from U.S. cable and satellite TV distributors to carry the channels.

That was offset partly by a decrease in content revenue. Last year's quarter got a boost from licensing HBO's "Sex and the City" to other cable outlets in the U.S.

Revenue at the Time Inc. magazine division fell 3 percent to $773 million. Advertising and subscription revenue both declined. Weak sales at newsstands worldwide were offset partly by higher sales of U.S. subscriptions. Time Warner shares fell 63 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $37.29 on Wednesday.