graphic
News > Companies
News Corp., Fox beat Street
May 9, 2001: 9:54 a.m. ET

But weak box office performance, tough ad environment hurt results
graphic
graphic graphic
graphic
NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Media conglomerate News Corp. reported fiscal third-quarter earnings Wednesday that fell from a year ago but beat Wall Street estimates, while its subsidiary Fox Entertainment Group posted a narrower-than-expected loss.

graphic  
Sydney, Australia-based News Corp., controlled by Rupert Murdoch, reported net income of $127 million, or 12 cents per U.S. share, for the quarter ended in March, down from $193 million, or 18 cents a share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average expected News Corp. to earn 9 cents a share, according to earnings tracker First Call.

Revenue for News Corp. (NWS: up $0.35 to $38.50, Research, Estimates), which owns parts of Fox Entertainment, the Los Angeles Dodgers, British Sky Broadcasting and other media properties, rose to $3.27 billion from $3.24 billion.

News Corp. is also currently in talks on buying General Motors Corp.'s satellite television service, DirecTV, from GM's Hughes Electronics Corp.

Click here for media and entertainment stocks

News Corp. said revenue from its Filmed Entertainment division was more than halved, as brisk sales of DVD and video titles such as "X-Men" and "Me, Myself and Irene" and the success of "Castaway" couldn't offset the money lost on marketing some box-office bombs.

Earnings at the company's newspapers, including the New York Post, The Times of London and the Daily Telegraph of Australia, fell 4 percent due to currency fluctuations, despite advertising gains in Britain and Australia, the company said.

Fox beats estimates

Fox Entertainment (FOX: up $0.30 to $23.80, Research, Estimates) blamed a "disappointing quarter at the domestic box office and a soft advertising environment" for a third-quarter loss of $9 million, or a penny a share, compared with earnings of $19 million, or 3 cents a share, in the year-earlier period.

Wall Street analysts expected Fox to lose 3 cents a share, according to First Call.

Revenue rose to $1.97 billion from $1.88 billion.

-- from staff and wire reports graphic





graphic