News Corp: Broadcast TV Dips, But Cable Returns Solid Results

For its fiscal fourth quarter ending in June 2012, News Corp. said its Fox network unit had lower TV advertising, largely due to lower "American Idol" ratings. But revenues were offset by retrans revenues, which doubled versus the prior-year period.

News Corp.'s television segment slipped in overall revenues to $1.083 million versus $1.120 million in its fourth-quarter 2011 results. Operating income also sank -- down $20 million to $213 million.

News Corp. says it is still seeing steady and solid results from its cable TV network business, however -- 15% growth in revenue from advertising sales and affiliate revenue rising to $2.5 billion. Operating income climbed 26% to $792 million. Its higher income results were due to growth at Fox News Channel and FX Network, two of the biggest revenue producers for News Corp.

Company-wide, News Corp.'s revenues sank $8.4 billion compared to $9.0 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011. It also registered a net loss of $1.6 billion versus net income of $683 million in the prior-year quarter. News Corp. said there was a $2.9 billion writedown charge from News Corp.'s publishing businesses. The company plans to spin off the business unit.

In after-hours trading, News Corp. stock dropped 3.6% to $22.80.

News Corp. Filmed Entertainment unit also suffered -- down to $1.7 billion versus $2.0 billion, with net income down to $120 million from $210 million in the prior-year quarter. News Corp. theatrical revenues had unfavorable comparisons to a year ago -- which gained from strong results of "Rio" as well as good home entertainment business from "Black Swan" and "The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader."

The publishing business went in a southerly direction -- to $2.0 billion from $2.4 billion. Net income sank to $139 million from $270 million.



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