News Corp. reported sharply higher earnings, with strong
showings by its cable and TV businesses.
Third-quarter net income more than doubled to $2.85 billion,
or $1.22 a share, from $937 million, or 38 cents a share, a year ago.
The third-quarter results included $42 million of costs
related to the ongoing investigations into the cellphone hacking scandal that
led to the closure of The News of the
World newspaper. That compares to $63 million in the year-ago quarter. This year's third-quarter results also
included $25 million of costs related to the proposed separation of the company's
entertainment and publishing businesses.
Revenue rose 14% to $9.54 billion.
"In our fiscal third quarter, News Corp. achieved organic
growth across our cable, film and television segments," CEO Rupert Murdoch said
in a statement. "We also announced our plans to broaden our core cable business
with the unveiling of our national sports channel Fox Sports 1 and our third
branded FX channel, FXX. Both
initiatives underscore our strategy of maximizing existing assets and
leadership positions to drive sustainable growth and long-term value."
Murdoch said the company was on target to complete the
proposed separation of its businesses near the end of the fiscal year. "As we prepare to launch two new industry
leaders with new News Corporation and 21st Century Fox, I am more confident
than ever of the long-term value the separation will unlock for the Company and
its shareholders," he said.
Operating income at News Corp.'s cable network programming
unit rose 17% to $993 million. Revenue was also up 17%, with the domestic
channels up 16%, led by strong growth at the regional sports networks and FX
Networks. That was offset by higher programming and marketing costs at FX and
National Geographic Channels.
Affiliate revenue was up up11% domestically and 42% at the
Domestic ad revenue was up 2%. FX and National Geographic
Channels recorded double-digit sales gains, while Fox News Channel dropped
compared to the elections year of 2012.
Corp.'s television division reported 15% higher operating income of $196
million while revenues were flat at $1.23 billion. The company said retrans income doubled while
programming expenses were lower. Ad sales were down because of lower ratings
for American Idol.