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News Corp. posts higher quarterly profit

News Corp., the media empire run by Rupert Murdoch, on Wednesday posted higher quarterly profit, buoyed by strong performance at its cable and newspaper divisions that outweighed lower movie sales.
/ Source: Reuters

News Corp., the media empire run by Rupert Murdoch, on Wednesday posted higher quarterly profit, buoyed by strong performance at its cable and newspaper divisions that outweighed lower movie sales.

The Sydney, Australia-based owner of film studio 20th Century Fox and the New York Post newspaper in December purchased a controlling stake in DirecTV, the largest U.S. satellite television operator with 12 million subscribers.

The move fulfilled Murdoch's long-held goal of having a company with the ability to beam movies and shows to all major media markets around the globe.

Investors sent News Corp. American Depositary Receipts up 2 percent in morning trading.

News Corp. said its net profit rose to $361 million, or 27 cents per American Depositary Receipt, in the fiscal second quarter, from $239 million, or 18 cents per ADR, a year earlier.

Revenue grew 19 percent to $5.6 billion, from $4.7 billion a year earlier.

The company posted an operating income of $760 million, compared to operating income of $729 million the year earlier period, its eighth consecutive quarter of year over year growth.

Excluding charges the company reported a 30 cents an ADR profit, ahead of Wall Street analysts estimates of 28 cents an ADR, according to Reuters Research, a unit of Reuters Group Plc.

Cable networks saw the biggest gains among Murdoch's portfolio of companies, seeing a 55 percent jump in operating revenues to $187 million. Strong ratings from the Fox News Channel and Fox's regional sports networks also contributed to the unit's profits.

Operating profits at the newspaper group, which include the New York Post and The Sun, grew 67 percent to $170 million on higher ad sales from the U.K. and Australia.

These gains helped offset weak year-over-year comparisons in its filmed entertainment division, which saw operating income down slightly to $253 million, from $255 million a year earlier.