Fox earnings beat estimates as TV, film revenues grow

By Media & AdvertisingFOXBusiness

Shareholders approve Disney's deal for Fox entertainment assets

FBN's Stuart Varney on Disney and 21st Century Fox shareholders approving Disney's acquisition of Fox entertainment assets.

Twenty-first Century Fox on Wednesday reported earnings and revenue that surpassed Wall Street’s expectations, as the media company saw top-line growth across its TV and film businesses.

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In its fiscal fourth quarter, 21st Century Fox earned net income of $920 million, compared to $476 million in the same period a year ago. Earnings rose to 57 cents a share, up from 36 cents, on an adjusted basis. Revenue grew 18% to $7.94 billion.

Analysts expected 21st Century Fox to report adjusted earnings of 54 cents a share on revenue of $7.56 billion.

The company said cable network programming recorded a 14% increase in revenue during the latest three-month period. Revenue from its television unit, which includes the FOX broadcast network, also climbed 14%. The filmed entertainment business saw revenue jump 27% to $2.3 billion.

A pending deal to sell certain entertainment assets to Walt Disney “unlocked enormous value for shareholders,” 21st Century Fox said in a statement. The company noted that its stock rallied 75% during its fiscal year.

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Shareholders of Disney and 21st Century Fox approved the $71 billion deal in July after Comcast dropped a rival bid for the same assets. Under the agreement, Disney will acquire Fox’s film and TV studios, majority ownership of Hulu, a stake in U.K. pay-TV company Sky and cable networks FX and National Geographic. The U.S. Department of Justice has approved the deal, and Disney is awaiting approvals in other markets.

Fox is also seeking to buy the remainder of Sky, a stake that would also join Disney’s media portfolio as part of their deal. Comcast has made a $33 billion offer for Sky.

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In an interview on FOX Business’ “Mornings with Maria, 21st Century Fox Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch said in December that the “new Fox” will have “Fox News, FOX Business, Fox Broadcasting, Fox Sports, but the point is it will have a cash flow of at least $2 billion a year.”

“We can see expanding that and taking other opportunities and building another great company,” Murdoch added.

Twenty-first Century Fox is the parent company of FOX Business and Fox News.

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