News Corp., the owner of the MySpace Web site and Fox television, said on Wednesday its quarterly net profit rose three-fold on higher advertising sales and on a gain from the sale of its stake in DirecTV Group Inc.
Net income rose to $2.69 billion, or 91 cents a share, from $871 million, or 27 cents, a year earlier, New York-based News Corp. said today in a statement. Revenue rose 16 percent to $8.75 billion.
The owner of 20th Century Fox and MySpace said it gained $1.67 billion after Chairman Rupert Murdoch traded a 41 percent stake in DirecTV to John Malone's Liberty Media Corp.
As part of the DirecTV exchange, News Corp. repurchased $10.1 billion of its shares, or a 16 percent stake, from Liberty Media.
The company's TV division, Fox TV saw a 53 percent profit gain as the Super Bowl attracted a record number of viewers during the Super Bowl final and American Idol, the most-watched show on TV, capitalized on a 100-day writers strike to secure record ad prices.
Excluding one-time items, profit was 30 cents a share, Chief Financial Officer David DeVoe said on a conference call. Analysts had estimated 32 cents, the average of 19 estimates.
Operating income at the television unit rose to $419 million on a 15 percent jump in sales to $1.8 billion. Cable network sales gained 27 percent to $1.27 billion on higher fees collected by Fox News, while operating income jumped 17 percent to $330 million.
Newspaper earnings rose 38 percent on higher advertising revenue from the company's Australian newspapers, lower costs from its papers in the United Kingdom and with the addition of Dow Jones and Wall Street Journal, which the company acquired last December.
News Corp. Class A shares rose 25 cents to $18.65 in extended trading after the results.