Fox 1Q profit, revenue rise, driven by cable network programming

The company on Tuesday reported a profit of $1.12 billion for the fiscal first quarter

Fox Corp. said its profit and revenue rose for the latest quarter, booking gains at its cable network programming segment and political advertising ahead of Tuesday's U.S. presidential election.

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The company on Tuesday reported a profit of $1.12 billion for the fiscal first quarter ended Sept. 30, or $1.83 a share, compared with $499 million, or 80 cents a share, in the comparable period last year. Excluding special items, earnings were $1.18 a share, ahead of the 76 cents a share analysts polled by FactSet had expected.

Fox said it recognized gains related to cash payment received from Walt Disney Co. related to the reimbursement of Fox's prepayment of its tax liabilities from Disney's divestiture of certain assets.

Revenue rose 1.9% to $2.72 billion. Analysts were targeting $2.58 billion. Operating expenses fell to $1.17 billion from $1.47 billion.

Affiliate revenue increased 10%, the company said, with cable network programming revenue rising to $1.33 billion from $1.29 billion. Among those driving the quarterly growth was the company's Fox News Channel, Executive Chairman Lachlan Murdoch said. Television revenue fell $6 million to $1.35 billion as advertising declined.

Advertising revenue fell 7% due to a pandemic-related pullback in live sporting events. Sports sublicensing revenue at the cable network programming segment also fell due to Covid-19, it said.

The company, whose businesses include Fox News, the Fox Broadcast Network, Fox Sports and local television stations, was spun off from 21st Century Fox and began trading as a separate public company in March of last year.

Fox and The Wall Street Journal parent News Corp share common ownership.

Write to Dave Sebastian at dave.sebastian@wsj.com