updated 5/4/2005 7:43:12 AM ET 2005-05-04T11:43:12

Time Warner Inc., the world's largest media company, posted slightly higher earnings in the first quarter on growth at its cable networks, cable TV and publishing businesses, the company reported Wednesday.

Time Warner earned $963 million, or 20 cents a share, in the first three months of 2005, up from $961 million, also 20 cents per share, a year ago when it recorded an accounting gain and still owned a music business that has since been sold.

Excluding the effect of several one-time gains in the latest quarter, per-share earnings came in at 18 cents per share, a penny above the 17 cents per share that analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial had been expecting.

The items included a tax gain of $51 million and a pre-tax gain of $80 million reflecting an increase in value of its remaining stake in Warner Music Group, which the company sold to an investor group last year.

In the year-ago period, earnings were $712 million, or 15 cents per share, without a one-time accounting gain and earnings from its its former music business.

Revenues rose 3 percent to $10.48 billion from $10.19 billion, led by gains in the company's cable networks division, which includes CNN, HBO and TNT, its magazine and book publishing business, and in cable TV.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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