Fox Shares Rise As Fiscal Q4 Earnings Beat Expectations

By Dominic Patten, David Lieberman

Fox’s first quarterly earnings report as a stand-alone company pleased investors, who sent shares up nearly 5% in after market trading. The net loss of $308M compares with a $1.52B loss in period last year while revenues came in at $7.21B, +15.7%. The revenue number matched the consensus analyst forecast. Excluding one-time items, earnings on continuing operations, at $0.31 a share, were three cents shy of expectations. Filmed Entertainment was mixed, with cash flow -16.4% to $117M while revenues rose 2.9% to $2.04B. The company pointed to theatrical and  home video successes with Taken 2, Prometheus and Life Of Pi – as well as its distribution of DreamWorks Animation’s The Croods — but said that television production contributed less than it did last year. Cable networks were still the stars, with cash flow +25.5% to $1.08B on revenues of nearly $3B, +16.3%. Domestic affiliate revenues were up 12% while ad revenues were +6%. The Fox television unit struggled with lower ratings from X-Factor and American Idol. The operation saw cash flow fall 9.4% to $213M on revenues of $1.1B, -0.5%. CEO Rupert Murdoch says that with Fox’s investments in sports, including the upcoming launch of Fox Sports, “21st Century Fox is poised to deliver continued innovation for our customers as well as sustained growth and long-term value for our stockholders.”

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