, owner of Fox Entertainment, BSkyB and many newspapers, posted a mixed third quarter Wednesday.
The New York media conglomerate posted a 17% rise in quarterly revenue, driven by strong performances at its film unit and in cable advertising. But earnings dropped 8%, thanks in part to higher programming costs and a soft TV ad market in the U.S. The company beat Wall Street's top-line estimates but came up short on the bottom line.
The New York-based company said profit fell to $400 million, or 14 cents a share, from $434 million, or 16 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue rose to $6 billion from $5.2 billion a year ago. Analysts were looking for 17 cents on $5.8 billion.
"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 Rupert Murdoch.
Murdoch noted his pleasure at the performance of
, which he said added more than 500,000 new subscribers during the quarter. Murdoch added that results at SKY Italia are improving, with a subscriber base that exceeds 3.2 million.
Though News Corp. has seen significant network ratings growth in television, the cost of programming, including the Super Bowl, continue to drag on that division.
News Corp. also completed its acquisition of the 18% interest in Fox Entertainment Group that the company didn't already own.
Cable network programming operating income rose 55% on advertising revenue growth at Fox News, higher affiliate and advertising revenues at cable's FX and lower programming costs at the Regional Sports Networks, the company said. Meanwhile, robust home entertainment sales of film and television titles drove its Filmed Entertainment division operating income up 15%.
Additionally, News Corp. and
completed their agreement to restructure the ownership of six regional sports networks held in jointly owned Regional Programming Partners at a cost of $77 million.
News Corp. shares rose 35 cents to $16.35.