Cable networks, film, and television propelled revenues for the first three months of 2013, although the company acknowledges that ad sales were hurt by ratings declines at American Idol. News Corp says it generated $2.90B in net income, +190% vs the period last year, on revenues of $9.54B, +13.5%. The top line was well ahead of the $9.14B that analysts expected. The bottom line number includes $2.43B in gains from overseas business deals, as well as $42M in costs related to the UK hacking scandal investigations and $25M in costs tied to the effort to spin off the publishing assets. With those stripped out, earnings fell 9.4% and equaled 36 cents a share — bulls-eye with the consensus forecast. Cable network revenues were +17.1% to $2.78B, with operating income +17.4% to $993M. The company says that domestic affiliate revenues were +11% but ad sales were just +2% in contrast to last year when Fox News benefited from political ads and regional sports networks had more basketball games. Life Of Pi helped to boost Filmed Entertainment revenues 17% to $2.01B with operating income +6.3% to $289M. A near doubling of retransmission consent payments and lower programming costs helped the broadcast operation see a 1.4% increase in revenues and 14.6% growth in operating income to $196M. But the Publishing unit struggled as ad sales at the Australian newspapers fell. It reported revenues -4.3% to $1.94B and operating income -34.6% to $85M. CEO Rupert Murdoch says that the company is “on target to complete the proposed separation of our businesses near the end of our fiscal year.”
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