Fox Results Buoyed by Sports, Political Ads With Disney Sale Nearing

(Bloomberg) -- 21st Century Fox Inc. reported what may be its final quarterly results before completing a $71 billion sale of assets to Walt Disney Co. and emerging as a smaller company focused on broadcasting, sports and news.

  • Profit rose to 52 cents a share, excluding some items, in the fiscal first quarter, matching the average of analysts’ estimates. Sales rose but slightly trailed Wall Street projections of $7.23 billion.

Key Insights
  • The TV segment -- the Fox network and local stations that will remain under the new Fox -- was buoyed by political advertising and sports, two businesses controlling shareholder Rupert Murdoch and family are counting on to help carry the company.
  • The other big piece of the new Fox is Fox News, the most-watched cable news network. Fox said Wednesday that the network’s growth in pay-TV affiliate fees slowed from earlier double-digit gains, but domestic advertising-revenue growth accelerated.
  • Fox lost $114 million in the quarter on its stake in Hulu, showing that the streaming-TV service will remain a challenge as Disney’s stake builds to 60 percent after the Fox acquisition. The figure implies an annualized loss of about $1.5 billion for all of Hulu, analysts at RBC wrote in a note.

Market Reaction

  • Fox shares rose as much as 0.7 percent to $47.48 in New York trading Wednesday. The stock is up 37 percent this year.

Get More

  • There won’t be a call with analysts since the sale to Disney is expected to close in the first half of next year.
  • For more on the results, click here.
  • Read the statement here.

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