Time Warner's Best Hope

Sure, the The Dark Knight is a near definite Oscar winner. But it also may be a key to boosting Time Warner’s earnings and future stock performance.

Back in July I wrote a web story for Crain’s that the film’s record success in the box office had brightened Time Warner’s profit expectations enough for the company to potentially meet its full-year forecast.

At the time UBS AG analyst Michael Morris said the movie had done well enough to give Time Warner similar returns to the total $891 million made by Spiderman 3.

The Dark Knight exceeded those projections reaching $1 billion in box office sales last month.

That gave the Warner Bros’ parent company a much needed boost.

Time Warner reported better than expected third-quarter earnings in November. Yet the media giant cut it’s full-year forecast due to severance charges at Time Inc. publishing and restructuring charges at New Line Cinema, Reuters reported on Nov. 5.

Now they are planning to re-release their big hit in January.

I haven’t checked Mike Morris’ recent projections, but it will be interesting to see the financial results and how much they influence Time Warner’s outlook.

The company’s stock, which took a plunge at the end up September, bottoming at $7 a share on Nov. 20 has started to regain its momentum since. Perhaps The Dark Knight will keep Time Warner shares from falling again — at least throughout the film’s DVD and Blu-Ray release.

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