Arts & EntertainmentThe EnvelopeCompany Town

21st Century Fox profit tops projections thanks to Super Bowl ad sales

BusinessEntertainmentTelevision IndustryTelevisionFox Broadcasting CompanyTwentieth Century Fox Film Corp.Satellite and Cable Service
New York media giant reports a profit of about $1 billion for the quarter
Fox earned 47 cents a share in the most recent quarter, compared with 32 cents a year earlier

21st Century Fox reported a fiscal third-quarter profit that beat Wall Street projections, thanks in part to strong advertising sales for Fox's broadcast of the Super Bowl in February.

The New York media giant reported a profit of about $1 billion during the quarter, with most of the growth coming from its broadcast and cable television divisions. The broadcast unit, which includes the Fox network and local TV stations, posted a 27% increase in revenue to $1.6 billion for the quarter.

The 20th Century Fox filmed entertainment unit, which includes the movie and TV production studios, generated $2.3 billion in revenue, slightly less than a year earlier. But the film unit's profit was 6% higher, benefiting from syndication sales of its TV series including "24," "The Americans" and "Modern Family."

For the quarter ended March 31, Fox reported net income of $1.05 billion, or 47 cents a share, compared with $2.85 billion, or $1.22, a year earlier.

Earnings comparisons to the year-earlier period were unfavorable because Fox had to account for an increase in the value of its investment in the Sky Deutschland satellite TV service in Germany. Fox increased its stake in the service in early 2013 and recorded a gain on its books.

Excluding the effects of the accounting change, Fox earned 47 cents a share in the most recent quarter, compared with 32 cents a year earlier.

Analysts had been expecting earnings of 35 cents a share.

Revenue was up 12% to $8.2 billion from $7.4 billion the previous year.

Fox also has been making investments in programming by launching new U.S. cable networks, including Fox Sports 1 and FXX. Higher programming expenses also weighed on the bottom line.

The cable television unit's revenue increased $325 million to $3.15 billion. Domestic advertising was up 8% in the quarter because of growth at FX Networks, Fox News Channel and the company's regional sports networks.

Fox Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey was asked whether he planned to remain at the company after the elevation in March of Murdoch's two sons, Lachlan and James, into more senior roles. Carey said he was indeed sticking around.

"Rupert and I have an understanding on a new agreement, we simply have not gotten it on paper yet," Carey said.

"But we have a clear understanding of where we're going."

Fox shares were up in after-hours trading. The company reported its earnings after the markets closed. During regular trading, Fox shares were down 29 cents to $32.12.

meg.james@latimes.com

Times staff writer Joe Flint contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
BusinessEntertainmentTelevision IndustryTelevisionFox Broadcasting CompanyTwentieth Century Fox Film Corp.Satellite and Cable Service
Comments
Loading