Fox posts strong quarterly earnings, shrugs off Roger Ailes controversy

NEW YORK, U.S. - Controversy-ridden broadcasting company 21st Century Fox has exceeded analysts’ estimates - posting healthy fiscal first-quarter earnings, boosted by its cable division and ...


• Fox’s strong performance comes as a result of rising ad sales and higher subscriber fees

• Roger Ailes stepped down in July after anchor Gretchen Carlson accused him of sexual harassment

• Fox earnings for fiscal first quarter exceeds analysts’ prediction

NEW YORK, U.S. - Controversy-ridden broadcasting company 21st Century Fox has exceeded analysts’ estimates - posting healthy fiscal first-quarter earnings, boosted by its cable division and motion picture growth.

The company, controlled by Rupert Murdoch, said the profit excluding some items has grown to 51 cents per share or $827 million, up from 34 cents, or $678 million in the same period last year, while analysts predicted 44 cents a share. 

Revenue grew by 7 percent to $6.51 billion, from $6.08 billion in the year-ago period.

The strong performance was a result of rising ad sales and higher subscriber fees. Fox joined Time Warner Inc in posting results that topped estimates. Results included certain National Geographic businesses acquired in November 2015. 

However, it comes as a surprise for few as Fox has been shrouded in the sexual harassment scandal involving Roger Ailes at its Fox News division. 

Ailes, who was the cable news channel’s longtime chairman, had to step down in July after anchor Gretchen Carlson accused him of professional retribution after she rejected his sexual advances. But results suggested that the scandal had no impact on its business.

Murdoch also mentioned that Fox News has benefited from the presidential campaign but added that ratings would probably come down after the November 8 election. 

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has been a frequent guest on Fox News’ ‘Sean Hannity Show.’

Referring to the Time Warner Inc’s recent results, Paul Sweeney, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence said, “While media bulls and bears struggle with the impact of cord-cutting and skinny bundles, big media continues to post steady results. Today’s results from two media giants have to make AT&T more confident in its big content bet.”

The company’s film studio revenue also increased by nearly 7 percent, to $1.91 billion compared to $1.8 billion in the year-earlier period. Its cable TV business revenue grew to $3.81 billion for the quarter from $3.46 billion a year earlier. 

However, its television division took a slight dip to $1.04 billion from $1.05 billion.

 

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