Entertainment and media conglomerate Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA) reported a 12% jump in revenue and better-than expected earnings during its fiscal third quarter, both figures boosted by the company’s Super Bowl broadcast in February.
The company reported revenue of $8.22 billion for the quarter, an $866 million increase over the $7.35 billion reported during the same period a year ago. Wall Street had expected revenue of $7.99 billion.
Shares rose nearly 5% to 33.60 in extended trading.
Twenty-First Century Fox said in a statement that the revenue growth was driven by a $338 million increase at its television unit, led by the broadcast of Super Bowl XLVIII, and a $325 million, or 11%, increase at its cable network unit, fueled by continued global affiliate revenue growth.
Net income from continuing operations was $1.07 billion, or 47 cents a share, compared to $2.53 billion, or $1.09 per share, a year ago. Analysts had forecast earnings per share of 35 cents.
The most recent results included a $53 million expense tied to depreciation and amortization costs related primarily to the company's acquisition of a controlling ownership stake of Sky Deutschland AG in January 2013.
The current year quarterly results also included $33 million in costs related to the sale last year of the company's ownership stake in NDS Group Ltd, as compared to income of $2.11 billion in the corresponding period of the prior year, driven by the gain on the acquisition of the additional ownership stake in Sky Deutschland.
“We delivered strong results in the fiscal third quarter with double-digit revenue and earnings growth led by sustained gains in affiliate fees at our cable networks. The sizeable audiences of our live television events, led by the most-watched Super Bowl in history, underscore the value of our investments in live sports programming, both in the US and internationally. This quarter's continued solid operational and financial performance demonstrates the global leadership of our businesses and the long-term value we are creating for our shareholders,” Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch said in a statement.
The company’s cable network programming unit saw operating income increase by 10% to $1.18 billion, led by affiliate revenue growth across its networks. Cable revenue growth was partially offset by a 12% increase in expenses, more than half of which is earmarked for investments related to the launches of new channels, including Fox Sports 1, STAR Sports and FXX, the company said.
The television unit reported quarterly segment income of $288 million, an increase of 32% over 2013 fueled by 27% revenue growth from increased advertising revenue and continued growth of retransmission consent revenues. Quarterly advertising revenues rose 30% over 2013 due to the broadcast of Super Bowl XLVIII and higher rates and ratings for the National Football League playoffs.
Twenty-First Century Fox is the parent company of the FOX Business Network.