Liberty Media Delivers Weak 3Q

Liberty Media's three core businesses reported weakening operating income results for the third quarter, which didn't sit well with Wall Street investors.

"Although several of our businesses, including Starz and our e-commerce companies, produced solid results, Liberty has not been immune to the volatile economic climate," said Greg Maffei, president and CEO of Liberty Media in a release.

Liberty Interactive Group's revenue increased 2%, and its adjusted OIBDA decreased 14% for the quarter. The decrease in operating income at the division was primarily due to cable network QVC. Consumer spending has hit all-time lows for the economy overall, and cable TV network retailer QVC has been impacted.

QVC's total revenue decreased 3% to $1.64 billion and adjusted operating income sank 14% to $312 million. On the positive side, QVC's international revenue improved 11% to $568 million, partly helped by favorable foreign currency exchange rates in Germany and Japan.

Liberty Entertainment group's revenue climbed 21%, but operating income sank 15% for the quarter. The increase in revenue was primarily due to the purchase of Liberty Sports Group, which was acquired in February 2008.



One of Liberty Entertainment's big pieces, Starz Entertainment, saw revenue sinking 1% to $278 million with operating income falling 11% to $78 million. Most of this came from adjustments in affiliation agreements from Liberty's DirecTV holdings.

Last month, Liberty Media Corp. said it would spin off Liberty Entertainment--which includes DirecTV and the Starz television channels--into a separately traded company.

Liberty Capital Group includes subsidiaries Starz Media, TruePosition, (the Atlanta Braves), and its interests in Time Warner, Inc. and Sprint Nextel Corp. Its revenue increased 16% to $221 million, while its net losses widen to $89 million, up from a $17 million loss in the third quarter 2007.

Wall Street investors reacted to the news by pushing Liberty Media's stock down 18% in midday trading to $5.24.

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