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News Corp. Earnings Rise on Cable, Film Performance

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Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. (NASDAQ: NWSA) earned revenue of $8.4 billion in the third quarter as the company's cable and film entertainment divisions experienced double-digit growth despite costs incurred in a UK phone hacking scandal.

Net income for the New York-based company was $937 million, or 38 cents per share, compared to $693 million or 24 cents per share a year earlier. This beat the 31-cent average estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

The company expanded its share repurchase plan to $10 billion from the $5 billion increase announced July 12.

Most of News Corp.'s revenue, about $846 million, comes from cable network programing including Fox News. Advertising revenue rose 10% in the US and 7% internationally from the year earlier quarter, with exceptional growth in Latin America and Asia.

The next largest revenue segment, accounting for about $272 million, is film which includes titles like The Descendants and Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

Publishing revenue, excluding a 2011 litigation settlement, decreased $31 million as revenue declined at Australian and UK newspapers and the company was forced to close The News of the World amidst a phone hacking scandal which resulted in at least $63 million in charges in the quarter.

The Guardian reported July 4 that The News of the World hacked into the voice mail of murdered teenager Milly Dowler. Since then the scandal has cost the company about $258 million, including $151.4 million in legal fees and $91 million from closing the News of the World newspaper.

The New York Times, which competes with News Corp.'s Wall Street Journal, earned $42.1 million in the first three months of the year, or 28 cents per share, compared to $5.4 million, or 4 cents per share, a year earlier as the company profited from the $140 million, $30 million after taxes, sale of Regional Media Group, a 16 newspaper conglomerate, the New York-based company said in a press release issued last month.

Posted-In: Earnings News Best of Benzinga


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