Like with Time Warner this morning, Fox’s news programming enjoyed a big boost in the first three months of 2016 from the exciting presidential campaign — and helped overcome uneven results in other parts of the company.
Fox shares are up 6.5% in initial trading after it released its fiscal Q3 results.
The company delivered $841 million in net income, down 13.7% vs the period in 2015, on revenues of $7.23 billion, up 5.7%. The top line beat Wall Street expectations for $7.18 billion. Adjusted earnings at 47 cents a share matched analyst forecasts.
“We delivered significant revenue and earnings growth in the quarter on the strength of gains in affiliate and advertising revenues across our domestic and international cable portfolios as well as at our television segment,” Executive Chairman Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch said in a statement. “The demonstrated value of our brands and our outstanding creative content will drive our businesses forward in both the existing and evolving media marketplace.”
Cable network cash flow increased 11.5% to $1.37 billion on revenues of $3.94 billion, up 9.8%. The company says that domestic affiliate revenues were up 7%, partly attributable to “sustained growth at FX Networks and FS1.”
But the additional business for Fox News, and well as additional NBA games at the regional sports networks, contributed to a 17% lift in ad sales.
On the overseas side, affiliate revenues were up 6% while ad sales increased 6%.
The television unit, which includes Fox broadcasting, saw an 11.4% drop in cash flow to $125 million, while revenues rose 5.0% to $1.30 billion. The top line benefited from higher retransmission consent revenues, and ad sales — helped by political sales at Fox’s TV stations. But the bottom line was hurt by rising sports programming costs.
Deadpool helped the Filmed Entertainment unit deliver its second best quarterly earnings ever. Cash flow increased 23% to $470 million on revenues of $2.32 billion, down 2.9%.
The most successful R-rated movie ever offset the downturn in television production, which last year had the final season of Glee, along with a drop in home entertainment sales.