Fox results beat expectations as cable delivers profit boost
Fox Corp., Rupert Murdoch’s slimmed-down TV empire, posted quarterly results that beat analysts’ estimates on the strength of the flagship Fox News Channel and higher rental income at its studios in Los Angeles.
The company, which sold its film and TV studios to Walt Disney Co. last year, said profit excluding some items totaled 10 cents a share, compared with analysts’ estimates for a loss of 2 cents. Revenue exceeded estimates, too.
Following the Disney deal, Fox is relying even more heavily on cable TV for its profit. That business remains challenged as pay-TV subscribers cut the cord, but the company eked out a 2.4 percent gain in revenue, with help from pay-per-view boxing, boosting profit.
Ad revenue in cable fell as the Fox News Channel was forced to preempt its regular programming more frequently for breaking news, such as the impeachment of U.S. President Donald Trump.
The Fox broadcast business suffered a loss of $214 million because of rising expenses for programming rights to the NFL and WWE.
To combat viewer losses, the company has invested heavily in live sports, including football and wrestling.
Fox shares were unchanged in extended trading after earnings came out. The stock is up 4.3 percent this year.