Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox (FOXA) posted a stronger-than-expected 15% jump in fiscal second-quarter revenue and in-line profits on Thursday even as the TV and entertainment company grappled with higher costs tied to recent investments.
The parent of Fox Business and Fox Broadcasting said it earned $1.21 billion, or 53 cents a share, last quarter, compared with a profit of $2.38 billion, or $1.01 a share, a year earlier.
Excluding one-time items, the company earned 33 cents, meeting forecasts from analysts.
Revenue rose 15% to $8.16 billion, topping the Street’s view of $7.81 billion.
“We continued to deliver top-line revenue growth across our businesses, including double-digit increases in affiliate fees and retransmission consent revenues as well as the inclusion of Sky Deutschland results,” Murdoch said in a statement.
Cable network programming revenue increased 14% amid broad-based growth, largely offsetting a 22% jump in expenses tied to the launch of Fox Sports 1 and other networks. Domestic ad sales grew 7%, driven by double-digit growth at FX Networks and the company’s regional and national sports networks.
21st Century Fox also noted “sustained growth” at Fox News Channel and Fox Business.
Television revenue rose 6% last quarter amid continued growth of retransmission consent revenue and slightly higher ad sales.
In filmed entertainment, 21st Century Fox grew revenue 7% to $2.48 billion thanks to the division’s television production businesses, which benefited from the syndication of "Modern Family" and higher revenue for "Homeland."
Last year, 21st Century Fox was separated from News Corp., which continues to hold the media conglomerate’s publishing assets such as The Wall Street Journal, the New York Post and HarperCollins.
Shares of New York-based 21st Century Fox were inactive ahead of Thursday's opening bell. The company's shares have rallied about 27% over the past 12 months, but are off 10% so far this year.