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AOLTime Warner (AOL – 54.31) released earnings this morning just before the start of their first analyst meeting as a combined company. The lengthy results will take some time for investors to digest because of the complications of the merger. As a result, initial reaction in pre-market trading has been mixed, with AOL shares trading alternately slightly higher or lower.
Highlights of the announcement include pro forma cash earnings for the combined company of 28 cents per share versus 24 cents last year. AOL beat Street estimates by a penny. Their 15-cent-per-share earnings compared to nine cents for the same quarter last year. Time Warner's earnings, however, dropped by two cents.
At today's meeting, AOL is expected to announce ad deals with the likes of Nortel Networks (NT – 39.00), Cendant (CD – 13.00), and Compaq Computer (CPQ – 24.35).
Ahead of this morning's news, AOL put and call options were among the most active on the CBOE yesterday, with 23,000 contracts of the March 50 call trading and over 24,000 contracts of the March 50 put changing hands.