Warner Bros Discovery (WBD) 4Q22


Pedestrians walk past a street commercial advertisement billboard from Warner Bros and DC comics character, The Batman, movie in Madrid.

Miguel Candela | SOPA Images | Lightrocket | Getty Images

Warner Bros. Discovery on Thursday posted a large loss and recorded about $11.1 billion in fourth quarter revenue, missing analysts’ estimates, as the media industry contends with a soft advertising market. 

The company’s TV networks segment – which includes cable-TV channels like TNT, TBS and Discovery – decreased 6% to roughly $5.5 billion, as advertising revenue took a drop in particular.

Here’s what the company reported:

  • Revenue: $11.01 billion vs. $11.36 billion expected, according to estimates from Refinitiv
  • Loss per share: 86 cents per share

Warner Bros. Discovery shares fell after hours.

The company reported a loss of $2.1 billion for the period, or 86 cents per share. It was not immediately clear whether that figure was comparable to analyst estimates from Refinitiv.

Warner Bros. Discovery executives began warning of a worsening advertising market last summer, and other media companies, including Paramount Global, have seen it weigh on their earnings.

The company has been contending with restructuring costs and impairment charges stemming from the 2022 merger of Warner Bros. and Discovery, while trying to push its streaming business toward profitability. 

The company ended the fourth quarter with $45.5 billion in debt on its balance sheet, and $3.9 billion in cash on hand. 

“With the major restructuring decisions behind us, this year we are focused on building and growing our businesses for the future, and we’re off to a great start,” CEO David Zaslav said in the company’s earnings release Thursday. 

The company, which owns streaming services HBO Max and Discovery+, said its global direct-to-consumer streaming subscriber base increased by 1.1 million to 96.1 million by the end of the quarter. 

Revenue for the streaming segment was up 6%, the company said Thursday, driven by an uptick in subscriber growth for its ad-supported tiers.

Losses for its streaming segment narrowed, the company said. It posted a loss of $217 million for the period, “a $511 million year-over-year improvement,” it added. 

Warner Bros. Discovery reported continued softness in the advertising market, which has been weighing on its revenue since last summer, when executives first warned of a slowdown in ad spending. Last week, Paramount Global reported a decrease in quarterly revenue due to lower ad spending.

The company’s network TV segment was particularly affected as major sporting events including college football and the men’s World Cup took place on other networks during the fourth quarter.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.


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