Media giant News Corp., which runs Fox News, The New York Post, The Wall Street Journal and loads of other outlets across the globe, today announced a fiscal third-quarter profit of $839 million, vs. $2.7 billion in the year-ago quarter. The prior year’s results included a one-off gain of $1.2 billion from sale of its stake in digital-rights firm NDS Group and an additional $1.2 billion in non-cash tax benefits.
Third-quarter 2010 revenue climbed 19% year over year to $8.8 billion
CEO Rupert Murdoch was far from bashful in commenting on the results in a statement:
Today’s earnings confirm that no content company is stronger than News Corporation at building both fiscal and operational momentum. Our global portfolio of sought-after content is ideally situated to benefit from the increase in consumer spending, advertising and access to new platforms we are seeing across our regions. The unique strengths of our cable channels — young, vibrant franchises with phenomenal growth and potential — now generate almost half of our operating profit, ensuring that our stakeholders will continue to benefit from News Corporation’s sustained revenue, profit and cash flow strength for years to come.
Operating income at the company’s Newspapers and Information Services unit rose 452% to $131 million. The company attributed the rise to a 25% increase in ad revenue for The Wall Street Journal and at U.K. papers. But that wasn’t all:
In addition, this quarter reflects a favorable foreign exchange impact primarily from the relative strengthening of the Australian dollar against the U.S. dollar.
The company’s filmed entertainment division contributed a great deal more operating income — $497 million, the highest quarterly amount News Corp. has on record. Avatar contributed $2.7 billion in worldwide box-office revenue and, weirdly, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel brought in $440 million. The company’s TV segment recorded operating income of $40 million; cable programming had operating income of $588 million.