There are a lot of moving parts in Fox‘s fiscal Q2 report out this morning with the inclusion of Sky Deutschland revenue and a gain on the sale of an ownership stake in Phoenix Satellite Television. But for the most part it looks pretty much as expected, and blah, as the company lowered its cash flow guidance for the current fiscal year. Net income for the last three months of 2013 was cut in half to $1.2B on revenues of $8.2B, +14.9%. That revenue number beat the $7.9B that analysts expected. Adjusted earnings, at 33 cents a share, matched the Street’s consensus forecast. Fox pulls out the old “difficult comparisons” explanation for the profit decline in Filmed Entertainment, where cash flow fell 11% to $218M on revenues of $2.5B, +6.6%. Fox says that it had higher release costs this year for The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty and Walking With Dinosaurs, and couldn’t match 2012’s Taken 2 and home videos for Ice Age: Continental Drift. The TV business softened the blow with syndication sales for Modern Family, higher revenues for Homeland, and streaming revenues for The Killing. The Cable Network Programming unit fared a little better with cash flow +2.4% to $1B on revenues of nearly $3B, +14.1%. Payments from pay TV distributors increased 15% while domestic ad sales were +7%, helped by double digit growth at FX — but hurt by Fox News compared to sales tied to the 2012 election. But expenses increased 22% as the company invests in Fox Sports 1, FXX, and other channels. The Television business centered on the Fox broadcast network struggled with cash flow -11% to $218M on revenues of $1.6B, +5.6%. The company cited declining X Factor ratings, and COO Chase Carey told analysts that American Idol — while “a much better show than it was a year ago” — is coming in below Fox expectations. For the whole operation retransmission consent revenues increased 6% while ad sales “grew slightly.” CEO Rupert Murdoch says that Fox’s investments in networks and programming “will drive 21st Century Fox’s future profits and cash flow toward our targets and even better position the Company to benefit from the increasing global demand for premium content and channels.”
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