The quarter ended Sept. 30 marked the first reporting period for the slimmed down and newly minted company, which spun off its publishing assets at the end of its last fiscal year in June, and changed its name to 21st Century Fox.
For the quarter,
That missed analysts' estimates of 34 cents a share.
Fox generated $7.06 billion in revenue for quarter. In the year-earlier period, the company -- then called
However, on an adjusted basis, the television and film assets took in 18% higher revenue. In the year-earlier period, revenue was $6 billion. The $1-billion boost came from higher cable affiliate fees and higher ad revenue as well as the consolidation of several new businesses.
"We are on-plan building a foundation for sustainable long-term growth," Fox Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey told analysts Tuesday in a conference call. "We feel good about the momentum of our business although we have a few soft spots to address."
Financial analysts polled by FactSet had expected Fox to produce earnings of 34 cents per share on revenue of $6.8 billion during the July-September quarter.
Cable television continues to be the heart of the company, producing about three-quarters of the company's profits. Cable TV produced $2.8 billion in revenue, compared to $2.5 billion in the year-earlier period.
The cable TV segment's reported operating income before depreciation and amortization of $991 million was lower than the $1-billion-plus in the year-earlier period. Profits were dinged by startup costs for two new national networks,
Cable affiliate revenue was up 10% domestically, and 40% internationally. Advertising revenue at Fox's U.S. networks was up 6%, driven by double-digit ad growth at FX Networks, National Geographic channels and the regional sports networks.
Broadcast television had a solid quarter. The segment generated more than $1 billion in revenue, compared to $972 million in the year-earlier period. Operating income was $231 million, an increase of 30%, compared to $178 million in the previous-year period.
The increase was fueled by a doubling of retransmission consent fees.
Film studio 20th Century Fox had tough comparisons because the year-earlier period enjoyed huge profits from the worldwide hit
Studio operating income hit $328 million, down from $433 million in the year-earlier period.
"Our film studio has been a bit more up and down to start the year," Carey said, adding the studio is hopeful for its winter releases, including "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," with
The television studio helped the film segment's performance with syndication sales of