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Case: AOL Time Warner prepared for new era

During a time when many executives are warning of shaky revenues and declining business, AOL Time Warner Chairman Steve Case is painting a rosy picture of his company.

    Alt text goes hereSAN FRANCISCO--During a time when many executives are warning of shaky revenues and declining business, AOL Time Warner Chairman Steve Case is painting a rosy picture of his company, saying it's on track to meet financial expectations for 2001.

    Speaking at the J.P. Morgan H&Q Technology Conference here, Case told an audience of financial analysts that his company would meet its goals of $40 billion in revenue and $11 billion in EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) for the year, reiterating predictions company executives have made in recent months.

    "I know this will be music to your ears," Case said. He told the analysts his goal for the Internet giant is to be the "most valued and most respected company in the world."

    Case didn't talk too much about the dot-com downturn, except to say that people shouldn't focus on the specifics of struggling companies. Instead, he said, people should "step back and try to appreciate the full grandeur of what's happening."

    Specifically, Case said that if 1980 was the decade of the PC, and 1990 was the decade of the Internet, the next era would be that of convergence.

    Case said his combined media and Internet services company is poised for the new era of convergence, where machines such as handheld computers, cell phones, and televisions would interact in completely new ways.

    "The lines between those devices are blurring, and the distinctions between the industries servicing those devices are blurring as well," he said.

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    AOL Time Warner battle plan
    Steve Case, chairman, AOL Time Warner
    Case outlined several goals for his company including meeting the financial numbers, transforming the way people consume information, becoming a major player in the global economy, and increasing its management team--all in a time when other companies are cutting back. He said the company would do that by, among other things, diversifying its board, revamping its corporate culture, and pursuing acquisitions.

    Case did not address whether AOL Time Warner planned to raise rates for its Internet services. At previous financial conferences, Case has said rate increases were "in the cards" but not necessarily something the company was considering in the near future.

    Two weeks ago, AOL Time Warner announced financial results that were in line with expectations of most analysts.