Fox Beats Earnings Expectations In Fiscal Q1, Helped By News Ad Sales

Associated Press

Fox investors can breath a sigh of relief. The entertainment giant’s financial results for the September quarter slightly beat expectations, faring better than Discovery Communications did with the numbers it disclosed Tuesday but without the strength Time Warner showed this morning.

Fox ended its fiscal Q1 with $821 million in net income, up 21.6% vs. the period last year, on revenues of $6.51 billion, up 7.1%. The top line beat the $6.49 billion that analysts anticipated.

Adjusted earnings from continuing operations at 51 cents a share were well ahead of the 44 cents Wall Street anticipated.

Fox shares were up 2.6% in post-market trading after falling 1.4% during the day.

“We delivered a strong quarter, growing our earnings by double digits on solid revenue gains,” Executive Chairmen Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch said in a statement. “Whether it was Fox News rating No. 1 in basic cable, the 27 primetime Emmy Awards between FX Networks and Fox Broadcasting, producing three of the top five scripted shows on television or our robust international growth, we demonstrated strong operational momentum across our global businesses.”

Cable Network Programming revenues rose 10% to $3.81 billion. Domestic affiliate fees were up 8%, and domestic ad sales increased 6% — which the company attributes to “higher ratings and pricing at Fox News.

The Fox-led broadcast Television unit saw 1% decline in revenues to $1.04 billion. The company says that was partly due to competition from the Rio Olympics as well as the absence of the Emmy Awards broadcast (which moved to ABC) and the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Filmed Entertainment sales were up 6.8%, helped by worldwide box office for Independence Day: Resurgence and licensing of Homeland to Hulu.

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