News Corp 1Q earnings beat Street; revenue close

Associated Press Modified: November 6, 2012 at 5:16 pm •  Published: November 6, 2012
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — News Corp. said Tuesday that net income for the latest quarter tripled from a year ago, reflecting a one-time gain from the sale of its stake in digital video technology company NDS. Revenue rose 2 percent thanks to growth at pay TV networks such as Fox News Channel.

Fiscal first-quarter net income came to $2.23 billion, or 94 cents per share, compared with $738 million, or 28 cents per share, a year ago.

Excluding about $1.38 billion in special gains, largely due to the NDS sale, adjusted earnings came to 43 cents per share, beating the 37 cents expected by analysts polled by FactSet. News Corp. had a 49 percent stake in NDS, which was acquired by Cisco Systems Inc. in July.

Revenue of $8.14 billion was roughly in line with the $8.15 billion analysts were looking for.

Shares rose 52 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $24.80 in after-hours trading following the release of results. In the regular session, shares closed up 36 cents, or 1.5 percent, at $24.28.

The company, which is controlled by CEO Rupert Murdoch, said that charges related to the phone hacking scandal in Britain came to $67 million, up from $17 million a year earlier. For the fiscal year through this past June, the company had already spent $224 million handling a U.K. probe into allegations against its newspapers.

At its U.S. pay TV networks, advertising revenue rose 8 percent, led by Fox News and its regional sports networks. Fees from distributors such as cable TV companies rose 16 percent domestically. The segment was again the company's most profitable, generating operating profit of $953 million on $2.45 billion in revenue.