Time Warner Inc., the world's largest media company, said earnings will be little changed this year as it struggles with weaker advertising sales and spent about $250 million to slash jobs at its Warner Bros. film studio and AOL Internet unit.
The New York-based media and entertainment company reported a $16 billion operating loss for 2008, its first in 14 quarters, blaming it mainly on a $24.2 billion writedown of the value of assets.
The company forecast 2009 income, excluding special items, to be flat with last year's 66 cents a share. Results excluded its cable-systems unit, which Time Warner expects to separate this quarter.
Advertising sales at AOL and Time Inc.'s magazines dropped more than expected causing revenue and earnings to be lower than analysts had expected.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters forecast earnings of 27 cents per share on revenue of $12.72 billion.
Sales fell to $12.3 billion, compared with the $12.8 billion average of 14 analysts' estimates compiled by Bloomberg.