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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Time Warner Inc. reports its second-quarter results on Wednesday before the market opens, as the company deals with a deadly mass shooting that marred the opening of its blockbuster summer movie "The Dark Knight Rises."
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Earnings for the quarter through June will not be directly impacted by the opening of the Warner Bros. Batman movie, which brought in $541 million worldwide since it opened July 20.
Despite "The Dark Knight Rises" being the third-best ever domestic opening, the company may address whether it still missed heightened expectations because of the tragedy in Aurora, Colo. Prior to the film's release, Morgan Stanley analyst Benjamin Swinburne expected U.S. opening weekend box office sales of $190 million to $200 million, above the $161 million it took in. He also expected the film to contribute 7 to 12 cents per share of earnings for the entire year.
Recent fights over fees between media companies and TV distributors may also be a focus of the quarterly earnings call. Recently Viacom Inc. and DirecTV settled a dispute after a 10-day channel blackout spurred by stalled talks over a seven-year deal worth more than $600 million a year.
The ability of Time Warner to get the upper hand in negotiations with TV distributors is a concern because so-called affiliate fees make up a large part of its revenue from TV networks such as HBO, CNN, TNT, TBS and Cartoon Network.
Time Warner has agreements with distributors to carry its channels which expire in 2014 and beyond, Swinburne said. He noted that its stock price "reflects a lack of market conviction in its ability to accelerate affiliate revenue growth."
WHY IT MATTERS: Time Warner's Warner Bros. movie studio and TV networks makes it a key player in the future of digital entertainment. Its Time Inc. magazines division also positions it at the hub of a discussion about journalism in an age when print publications are suffering.
WHAT'S EXPECTED: Analysts polled by FactSet expect adjusted earnings of 59 cents per share on revenue of $6.95 billion.
LAST YEAR'S QUARTER: Last year, Time Warner reported adjusted earnings of 60 cents per share on revenue of $7.03 billion.