News Corp. Bests Expectations for Q1, Posts Profit of $2.23B

Fox News, FX and regional sports networks powered News Corp. to a strong start to fiscal 2013

News Corp. obliterated analyst expectations with its first earnings report of fiscal 2013, posting profit of $2.23 billion thanks to a one-time asset sale and its cable division.

Though the company fell just short of what was predicted in terms of revenue, generating $8.16 billion, its earnings per share of $0.43 beat analyst predictions of $0.37. If you factor in News Corp.'s sale of NDS Group Limited and certain other items, it posted earnings per share of $0.94 (an increase of more than 200 percent from a year ago). 

News Corp. sold NDS to Cisco in March for $5 billion, which boosted earnings by $1.38 billion. However, it also took a $67 million charge for the ongoing investigation into phone hacking (among other losses). That balanced out to $2.23 billion.

Discounting the sale and those other items, News Corp. generated $1.38 billion in operating income, driven by its cable unit. 

Fox News, FX and regional sports networks led the way for the group, which posted $953 million in profit — an increase of 23 percent from a year ago.

The company's film studio also contributed increased profits, churning out $400 million as compared to $347 a year ago. Much of that is attributable to "Ice Age: Continental Drift," which has grossed $867 million at the global box office.

“Our operational discipline and focus on innovation continued to drive the company’s momentum in our fiscal first quarter, led by double-digit growth in our channels business and the global success of our film and television content," News Corp. Chairman adn CEO Rupert Murdoch said in a statement. "Even against considerable currency headwinds due to a stronger dollar, we were able to increase News Corp’s revenue and adjusted segment operating profit over the prior year quarter while continuing to make key investments to position us for future growth."