Cable Ad Revenue Boosts 21st Century Fox Earnings

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21st Century Fox, the film and TV company controlled by Rupert Murdoch, posted first-quarter profit that exceeded analysts' estimates as advertising boosted its cable news division and motion-picture earnings rose.

Profit excluding some items grew to 51 cents a share, Fox said Wednesday in a statement. Analysts were predicting 44 cents, the average of 28 estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Strong ad revenue globally and affiliate fees boosted the cable TV division, Fox's biggest business. Profit at 20th Century Fox grew from a weak year earlier period even as summer movies like the June 2016 release "Independence Day" struggled at the box office. Roger Ailes, head of the highly profitable Fox News Channel, resigned in July amid allegations of sexual harassment, including one case the company settled for a reported $20 million.

Revenue increased 7.1%t to $6.51 billion in the period ended Sept. 30, beating projections of $6.49 billion.

Revenue from cable TV, the company's biggest business, grew 10% to $3.81 billion. Profit rose to $1.38 billion. Sales in filmed entertainment expanded 6.8% to $1.91 billion, while earnings more than doubled to $311 million, Fox said.

Broadcast TV revenue fell slightly to $1.04 billion. Profit in the division also declined, to $191 million. Operating income excluding some items grew 17% to $1.79 billion.

-- Bloomberg News

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