Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) has had an interesting year. Although this huge media conglomerate has many different types of content and services under its massive umbrellas, one of its most-watched segments is, of course, AOL. And it's no secret that this year, Time Warner made the interesting move of ditching the subscription walls so that AOL is a free-for-all like rivals Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO), Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) MSN, and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG).

In the fourth quarter of last year, Time Warner reported net profit up 21.2% to $1.37 billion, with sales up 7% to $11.89 billion. For the year, Time Warner had paid $3 billion as part of its $12.5 billion stock repurchase plan.

In the first quarter, Time Warner's net income increased 60% to $1.46 billion, or $0.32 per share. Once adjusted for discontinued operations and other items, Time Warner earned $0.20 per share. Revenues increased just 1% to $10.46 billion, led by cable and networks segments.

The second quarter included similar tidings. Time Warner's net income came in at $1 billion, or $0.20 per share before discontinued operations, compared to a loss of $405 million the previous year. Again, revenues increased 1%, boosted by cable and networks.

In the company's recent third quarter, Time Warner's net income nearly tripled to $2.3 billion, or $0.57 per share; of course, adjusted for asset sales and tax benefits, it only increased 12%. Sales increased by 7% to $10.9 billion. Interestingly, Time Warner's cash store dropped by 72% while its debt load just about doubled. Then again, $11 billion of that debt was linked to share repurchases -- earlier in the year, Time Warner agreed to a $20 billion stock buyback due to pressure from Carl Icahn.

One of the nice things about a media conglomerate is that the success of some segments can offset struggles at others, and a recurring theme over the course of the year was the strength in Time Warner's cable and networks segments. Other areas didn't have quite as easy a time of it, as Time Warner continues to work on its strategy for AOL. And of course it has other segments, like publishing and film, that have a slightly cyclical element, since so much depends on whether they deliver blockbuster hits or are up against tough comparisons to last year's blockbuster hits.

Let's see what the CAPS community thinks of Time Warner, though.

Time Warner

CAPS Rating *** (out of five stars)

Total Bulls


Total Bears


Bull Ratio


Bear Ratio


Data current as of Dec. 15, 2006.

That's a pretty strong vote of confidence for Time Warner from the CAPS community; I might have imagined there would be more bearish sentiment, but then again, the stock has risen by 20% in the past year.

Time Warner bull ezSteveG had some ideas of his own for Time Warner in his CAPS pitch: "There is incredible value locked up in a poorly managed conglomerate. A change at the top and/or break up of TWX will unlock the value of an incredible portfolio of assets. Merely spinning off the AOL albatross will get the stock into the 30s."

Will 2007 find Time Warner really shining as it works on its new strategies? It remains to be seen. It's clear, though, that the company has its work cut out for it as it tries to reinvigorate some of its businesses and deal with AOL, which has been a long-standing soap opera for investors and business watchers over the years. Now that stagnation is not in fashion, 2007 should be an interesting year for TWX as we get better clarity into the success of its endeavors.

Time for further Foolishness:

Check out the other companies featured in "The Motley Fool's 2006 in Review and 2007 Preview" special.

Time Warner is a longtime Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation, as is Yahoo!. To see what other great companies have been recommended to subscribers, take a 30-day free trial today! Microsoft is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick.

Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. The Fool has a disclosure policy.