“Deadpool,” “The People v. O.J. Simpson,” and owning Fox News Channel during an election cycle helped 21st Century Fox top Wall Street’s $7.18 billion revenue forecast.
The media company reported $7.23 billion at its top line on Wednesday afternoon, up 6 percent from the comparable quarter last year. At the bottom line, adjustments handed Fox the 47 cents per share that media analysts’ had predicted — and that means they finished a nickel per share higher than the same 2015 period.
Cable Network Programming saw the biggest revenue growth year over year, generating domestic advertising increases of 17 percent. With big investments like “The People v. O.J.,” the segment also incurred some higher programming costs, however. The broadcast side of the small-screen arm grew sales as well, though on a far-more modest scale.
The Filmed Entertainment group wasn’t as fortunate overall, despite the big bonus of “Deadpool.” Losing “Glee” didn’t help from a TV-production standpoint, nor did declines in home entertainment.
“We delivered significant revenue and earnings growth in the quarter on the strength of gains in affiliate and advertising revenues across our domestic and international cable portfolios as well as at our television segment,” Executive Chairmen Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch said in a joint statement. “Whether it was Fox News outranking all of basic cable for the first time, FX delivering the year’s most watched new cable show with ‘The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,’ or STAR Sports remaking televised sports in India, the unique appeal of our industry leading brands and premium content has never been clearer.
“This strength extended to our film studio, which broke global box office records and expanded a global franchise with ‘Deadpool,’ while delivering its second strongest quarterly earnings ever,” the brothers continued. “The demonstrated value of our brands and our outstanding creative content will drive our businesses forward in both the existing and evolving media marketplace.”
FOXA stock closed Wednesday at $29.80. Shares spiked right after closing, but they just as quickly came back down to earth. Currently, company stock is up a couple of dimes.
Executives will host a conference call at 4:30 p.m. ET to discuss the financials further.