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Twenty-First Century Fox Q2 Profit Tops Street

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Twenty-First Century Fox Inc., (FOXA,FOX) Wednesday reported a profit for the second quarter that trumped Wall Street expectation, reflecting largely growth at Cable Network unit.

Fox's second-quarter profit rose to $1.83 billion or $0.99 per share from $856 million or $0.46 per share last year.

Profit for the quarter include a hefty tax benefit of $1.34 billion related to the recent reforms in the U.S. tax.

On an adjusted basis, earnings were $771 million or $0.42 per share, down from $976 million or $0.53 per share last year. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters estimated earnings of $0.38 per share for the quarter.

Revenues for the quarter rose to $8.04 billion from $7.68 billion last year. Analysts had a consensus revenue estimate of $7.94 billion for the quarter.

Revenue growth reflects higher revenues at Cable Network Programming, partially offset by lower revenues at Television and Filmed Entertainment segments.

Revenue in the cable-network segment rose 11 percent from last year to $4.41 billion, while television revenue dropped 6 percent to $1.81 billion.

Commenting on the results, Executive Chairmen Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch said, "We delivered another quarter of solid top-line revenue growth including the further acceleration of gains in global affiliate revenues and despite challenging revenue comparisons for our TV segment. Our results also reflect increased investment behind higher volumes of global sporting events as well as film releases from our studio, which led the industry in Golden Globe awards and Oscar nominations."

"Looking ahead, we are focused on continuing to deliver value to our shareholders through achieving our near-term growth plans, completing our proposed acquisition of the balance of Sky, obtaining the required approvals for the successful completion of our transaction with Disney and planning for the exciting launch of the new 'Fox'."

During the quarter, the company announced its decision to sell certain assets of Twenty-First Century Fox to Walt Disney for about $52.4 billion in stock. Under the deal, Disney will acquire 21st Century Fox, including the Twentieth Century Fox Film and Television studios, along with cable and international TV businesses.

FOXA closed Wednesday's trading at $36.06, down $0.74 or 2.01%, on the Nasdaq. The stock further dropped $0.26 or 0.72% in the after-hours trading.

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