News Corp. Remains Confident Despite Profit Decline

    May 4, 2005
    Chris Crum

Profits fell 8% in the third-quarter for News Corp. even though revenues grew heartily in its cable advertising and film units.

Higher expenses related to Fox’s Super Bowl programming, as well as cable restructuring costs are to be taken into consideration for the drop in profit.

“Our third quarter results were led by the strong performances of our filmed entertainment and cable network programming segments and was achieved despite a weaker performance at television,” said Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch. “While the television segment was down year-on-year, reflecting higher programming costs and the soft advertising marketplace in the US, our stations generated record market share and the broadcast network, on the heels of its victory during the February sweeps, is poised to win the broadcast season ratings race for the first time in its history.”

Bloomberg News says:

Net income fell to $400 million, or 13 cents a share, from $434 million, or 15 cents, a year earlier, the New York-based company said today in a statement distributed by Business Wire. Sales rose to $6.04 billion from $5.16 billion, compared with the $5.87 billion average estimate of 15 analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial.

News Corp. attracted viewers to Fox News with coverage of the war in Iraq and political talk shows including “The O’Reilly Factor” and “Hannity & Colmes.” Fox News, started by News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch a decade ago is now the most- watched news channel, helping the cable unit become the fastest- growing division in the quarter ended March 31. News Corp.’s newspapers and 20th Century Fox film studio also boosted profit.

News Corp. shares rose rose 35 cents today in NYSE trading.

Murdoch said that financial and operational momentum is gaining and that the company is confident that it will achieve its targets for the year.

Chris is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest ebusiness news.