AOL profit fell to $499 million

Time Warner's third-quarter profit dropped 7.8 percent from a year ago to 499 million dollars, the company said as it set aside 500 million dollars for possible settlements of accounting probes at its America Online units.

The world's largest media-entertainment company said its profit amounted to 11 cents a share, or 10 cents without one-time gains, compared with a Wall Street forecast of 14 cents a share.

Revenue in the quarter rose 4.9 percent to 9.97 &to=http:// ' target=_blank>billion dollars, wrote Turkish Press.

According to Reuters, the world's largest media group, owner of America Online, HBO and the Warner Bros. movie studio, said third quarter net income fell to $499 million, or 11 cents a share, from $541 million, or 12 cents a share, a year earlier.

Earnings excluding items were 15 cents a share, topping estimates by a penny, as gains in online advertising and a rise in new high speed Internet customers sent shares up 2 percent.

But analysts reacted to the announcements on the ongoing probes by the U.S. &to=http:// ' target=_blank>Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission with both caution and strained relief.

"The fact that they're able to preliminarily quantify the exposure to the SEC and DOJ gives us increased confidence that a year from now we won't be talking about when and if the investigations will conclude," said Richard Greenfield, an analyst at Fulcrum Global Partners. Sanderson said he was surprised that the SEC and Time Warner still hadn't yet wrapped up the investigation. "If I was a betting man, I would've lost by now," he said as he was asked for a prediction about when the investigation might be concluded.

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