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Time Warner profit rises on cable network strength

(Reuters) - Time Warner Inc posted a higher first-quarter profit on Wednesday, as growth in its cable networks offset declines in the film, TV entertainment and publishing units.

The company also stood by its earnings growth outlook for the year, although that forecast does not include the planned spin-off of the publishing business.

Net income for the media company, which owns the CNN cable network, premium TV service HBO and a movie studio, rose to $720 million, or 75 cents per share, from $583 million, or 59 cents a share, a year ago.

Adjusted earnings of 82 cents per share easily beat the consensus Wall Street forecast of 75 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Earnings exceeded even the highest of the 28 estimates that made up the consensus.

But revenue came in below even the lowest Wall Street expectations at $6.94 billion. Analysts were expecting $7.15 billion. Time Warner said the growth at the networks unit was offset by declines in other segments, leaving the company essentially flat year on year.

(Reporting By Liana B. Baker; Editing by Maureen Bavdek)

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