For its fourth quarter, which ended June 30, the media giant reported earnings of $8.42 billion, a 17% increase year-over-year, and earnings of 42 cents per share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of 38 cents per share on revenues of 7.99 billion. Revenue in Cable Network Programming was $3.35 billion, up from $2.95 billion in the same quarter last year. In the Filmed Entertainment segment, revenue grew 38% year-over-year to $2.80 billion, led by the international releases of X-Men: Days of Future Past, Rio 2, and The Fault in Our Stars, which have grossed $740 million, $490 million, and $260 million, respectively, in worldwide box office to date.
In the television segment, however, operating income fell to $145 million from $213 million a year earlier, and advertising revenue in the segment fell 11% year-over-year. The company attributed these declines to lower ratings, especially in the program American Idol.
“In the fiscal fourth quarter we built on our operational momentum with double-digit earnings and revenue gains,” said CEO Rupert Murdoch in the press release. “As we close the fiscal year, I continue to have confidence in our ability to execute our growth plan and drive value for our shareholders.”
Unusually, Murdoch participated in the earnings call following the release of the earnings, for the first time since the News of the World hacking scandal. News of the World and Time Warner both belonged to the former behemoth News Corp. (NWS). In 2013, the company was split into 21st Century Fox, which consists primarily of media outlets, and News Corp (NWS), which focuses on publishing.