Twenty-First Century Fox said Wednesday its cable business posted its “highest earnings ever” from the fiscal third quarter.
Executive chairmen Rupert in addition to Lachlan Murdoch said in a statement of which double-digit growth in domestic affiliate revenue helped drive strength in its cable division.
Fox’s cable unit reported revenue of $4.42 billion, topping a StreetAccount consensus estimate for $4.39 billion. of which represents nearly 10 percent year-over-year growth for Fox’s cable network programming.
Here’s what each business unit reported in revenue compared with what analysts expected, according to StreetAccount consensus estimates:
- Cable network programming: $4.42 billion vs. $4.39 billion expected
- Television: $1.15 billion vs. $1.25 billion expected
- Filmed entertainment: $2.24 billion vs. $2.19 billion expected
The Murdochs said Fox will be creatively “firing on all cylinders.” They said they expect continued momentum with the upcoming Discharge of “Deadpool 2.”
In its Wednesday Discharge, Fox said the idea remains committed to its bid to acquire the 61 percent of Sky the idea does not currently own.
Fox’s earnings come as investors look for updates on a pending sale of most of the company. In December, Fox’s board approved Disney’s $52 billion stock bid to acquire Fox assets including television in addition to film studios, cable channels including FX in addition to National Geographic, in addition to 22 regional sports networks.
While Disney Chairman in addition to CEO Bob Iger said he’s confident of which the Fox deal would likely close, Comcast will be interested in those same parts of the Murdoch media empire. CNBC reported Monday of which Comcast plans to make a competing all-cash bid for Fox if the Justice Department approves AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner.
If a sale will be completed, Fox would likely also shed international properties in addition to its stake in Hulu. Fox’s management will be said to believe of which a smaller company focused on news in addition to sports would likely be more competitive from the current media landscape.
Fox News has dominated Nielsen ratings, consistently ranking as the most watched cable news network in America. in addition to Fox Sports said in January the idea would likely pay more than $3 billion to broadcast “Thursday Night Football” for 5 seasons.
CNBC previously reported of which fear of being outspent on content was one of the main reasons Murdoch considered selling much of Fox. Tech giants like Netflix in addition to Amazon have committed billions to licensing in addition to producing content for their streaming services, producing the bidding wars increasingly competitive.
Keeping up with Silicon Valley-style cash burn requires a certain footprint of which Fox doesn’t have. In November, CNBC also reported of which Fox’s senior management didn’t see a way to gain the necessary scale through acquisition.
Here’s how the company did on the top in addition to bottom line compared with what Wall Street expected:
- Adjusted earnings: 49 cents per share vs. 53 cents per share forecast by Thomson Reuters
- Revenue: $7.42 billion vs. $7.40 billion forecast by Thomson Reuters
from the year-ago quarter, Fox reported adjusted earnings of 54 cents on $7.56 billion in revenue.
Shares of Fox made slight gains in extended trading.
This particular will be breaking news. Please check back for updates.
— CNBC’s David Faber in addition to Alex Sherman contributed reporting
Disclosure: Comcast will be the owner of NBCUniversal, parent company of CNBC in addition to CNBC.com. Comcast will be also a co-owner of Hulu.