(By Balaseshan) News Corp. (NASDAQ: NWSA) reported a jump in quarterly earnings on gains from additional stakes purchase and participation in BSkyB repurchase program. Results exceeded Street's expectations.
Earnings for the second quarter were $2.38 billion or $1.01 per share, higher than last year's $1.06 billion or $0.42 per share. Adjusted earnings per share (EPS) rose to $0.44 from $0.39.
The latest quarter's results included $1.40 billion of income in Other principally related to gains on the acquisitions of additional ownership stakes in FOX SPORTS Australia and Fox Star Sports Asia as well as a $131 million gain from its participation in British Sky Broadcasting's (BSkyB) share repurchase program, which is reflected in Equity earnings of affiliates.
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Revenue increased 5 percent to $9.43 billion, led by 18 percent growth at its Cable Network Programming segment and improvements in its Publishing segment that was partially offset by decline at Direct Broadcast Satellite Television segment.
Analysts, on average, polled by Thomson Reuters had expected a profit of $0.42 per share on revenue of $9.27 billion for the second quarter.
Cable Network Programming revenue grew to $2.56 billion from $2.16 billion, while Filmed Entertainment revenue marginally rose to $2.067 billion from $2.063 billion.
Television revenue rose to $1.53 billion from $1.52 billion, while Direct Broadcast Satellite Television revenue fell to $890 million from $947 million. Publishing revenue increased to $2.15 billion from $2.13 billion.
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Total segment operating income marginally grew to $1.58 billion from $1.50 billion, on improvements at its Cable Network Programing, Television and Publishing segments offset decreases at the Direct Broadcast Satellite Television and Filmed Entertainment segments.
"News Corp.'s fiscal second quarter performance reflects our strong momentum. As we make progress toward the proposed separation of our entertainment and publishing businesses later this year, I am confident in the future prospects for both businesses," Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch said.
The company has declared a dividend of $0.085 per Class A and Class B share. The dividend is payable on April 17 with a record date for determining dividend entitlements of March 13.
NWS closed Wednesday's regular session up 0.24 percent at $28.69, while NWSA ended down 0.49 percent at $28.21.