Fox Corp. closed its fiscal year with a solid performance in its fourth quarter, beating Wall Street revenue and earnings forecasts.
The TV and streaming company thrived on a bounce-back for advertising compared with the depths of Covid-19 a year ago. Total revenue climbed 20% to $2.89 billion and earnings per share came in at 65 cents, up from 62 cents in the year-ago period.
“We are in a very good place, with new momentum starting the fiscal year,” CEO Lachlan Murdoch said Wednesday at the start of the company’s earnings call with analysts.
Revenue jumped 20% to $2.89 billion, with the company indicating the strength was spread across several segments. Affiliate revenue rose 10%, while advertising revenues spiked 38% — a rise of 51% in the Television segment and 17% at the Cable Network Programming segment.
The dominant Television division, which includes the flagship broadcast network and local station portfolio, saw revenue rise 30% to $1.45 billion. The step-up in advertising included continued growth at free, ad-supported streaming service Tubi and strong pricing at Fox Entertainment. Tubi revenue came in at around $100 million in the quarter, which is typically its softest of the year, and full-year revenue soared 177% to about $400 million. Fox acquired Tubi in early 2020 for $440 million.
Affiliate revenue in the television unit increased $88 million or 16%, driven by increases in fees from third-party Fox affiliates and higher average rates at the stations. Other revenues increased $21 million or 18%, primarily due to higher content revenues at Bento Box and Fox Entertainment.
In the cable network programming unit, quarterly revenue increased 10% from $1.4 billion. Affiliate revenue increased $58 million or 6%, driven by contractual price increases, including the impact of distribution agreement renewals. Advertising revenues increased $45 million or 17%, which the company said was primarily due to continued digital monetization at Fox News Media and the impact of live events’ return at Fox Sports.