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News Corp., Fox Entertainment Exceed Expectations

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News Corp.


posted second-quarter earnings that beat analysts' expectations, and the company's

Fox Entertainment


unit also reported results that topped projections.

For the second quarter, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., which is based in Sydney, earned $270 million, or 26 cents per American depositary receipt, compared with $252 million, or 25 cents per ADR, in the same period last year. Analysts polled by

First Call/Thomson Financial

expected earnings of 19 cents a share for the quarter.

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Revenue was $3.85 billion, slightly below the $3.86 billion a year ago.

Fox, which is based in New York posted second-quarter earnings, excluding a restructuring charge, of $94 million, or 13 cents a share. The results were unchanged from the same quarter a year earlier. Analysts expected earnings of 8 cents a share.

Fox said revenue for the quarter rose to $2.50 billion, up from $2.44 billion a year ago.

Shares of News recently climbed $1.60, or 4.3%, to $39.10, while Fox gained 42 cents, or 2%, to $21.28, both in trading on the

New York Stock Exchange


Reports begain circulating yesterday that merger talks between

Hughes Electronics


and News Corp. have intensified, leading the two sides to believe that they could reach a deal within the next few weeks.