Thursday, February 1, 2001
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Posted on: Thursday, February 1, 2001

Business briefs

Advertiser Staff and News Services

AOL Time posts $1 billion loss

Reporting earnings for the first time as a combined company, AOL Time Warner Inc. said yesterday it lost more than $1 billion in the fourth fiscal quarter as investment losses and other expenses dragged down net results. Pretax earnings rose, however, meeting analysts’ estimates.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, AOL Time Warner had a net loss of $1.09 billion, or 25 cents per share, as a $579 million write-down of its investment portfolio and other expenses dragged down earnings. In the same period a year ago, the company had a net loss of $201 million, or 5 cents per share.

Both figures were calculated as if America Online Inc. and Time Warner Inc. were operating as a combined company. AOL Time Warner said earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose to $2.4 billion compared with $2.1 billion a year ago.

Wireless license auction delayed

The government postponed yesterday an upcoming auction of lucrative wireless licenses, ideal for delivering new services like high-speed Internet access and streaming video to mobile phones and handheld computers.

The auction, scheduled for March, will be pushed back until September to allow potential bidders more time to prepare and plan, the Federal Communications Commission said.

The agency just completed its largest auction to date Friday, raking in $16.86 billion for other airwaves licenses that should allow wireless companies to fill patches in their mobile phone coverage and add new services like two-way messaging.

American, TWA mesh services

American Airlines won approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation to offer frequent-flier mileage points to Trans World Airlines Inc. customers starting today.

American and TWA also were approved to start offering reciprocal use of their airport lounges today.

American agreed last month to pay $500 million for most TWA assets and to assume $3 billion in TWA aircraft leases. St. Louis, Missouri-based TWA’s plans to sell itself to AMR as part of a bankruptcy auction were allowed to move forward by a U.S. bankruptcy judge this past weekend.

CNNfn changes name, strategy

The struggling CNNfn financial news network is changing its name and programming strategy with the promise of an assist from its corporate partners in AOL Time Warner Inc. The network will be known as CNN Money and will concentrate on personal finance issues when the U.S. markets are closed.

CNNfn was never able to establish itself as anything more than a weak competitor in a business news market dominated by CNBC. The network is only carried in about one-fifth of the nation’s cable homes. CNN Money will continue to cover the financial markets during the day.

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