Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc.
) first-quarter fiscal 2014 adjusted earnings of 33 cents per
share came a penny below the Zacks Consensus Estimate and fell
13.2% from 38 cents earned in the prior-year quarter.
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Twenty-First Century Fox, which competes with
Walt Disney Company
Time Warner Inc
), reported an increase of 17.6% in total revenue to $7,061
million on a year-over-year basis. The rise was due to growth
across Cable Network Programming (up 12.3% to $2,810 million),
Filmed Entertainment (up 9.4% to $2,120 million), Direct
Broadcast Satellite Television division (up 67.9% to $1,390
million) and Television (up 7.8% to $1,048 million). Total
revenue handily surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $6,798
Total segment operating income before depreciation and
amortization (OIBDA) increased 1.8% year over year to $1,618
million in the quarter, driven by improvement at the company's
Direct Broadcast Satellite Television and Television segments,
partly offset by tepid OIBDA growth in the Filmed Entertainment
Management anticipates various investments including the launch
of FXX and Fox Sports 1 to drive top-line growth in the future.
Operating income at
Cable Network Programming
fell 2.4% from the prior-year quarter to $991 million.
Expenditure related to the new cable channel initiatives, 3%
negative impact from foreign exchange rate fluctuations and the
timing of programming and marketing at the FX Network all
contributed to the decline. Contribution from domestic channels
fell 7% as OIBDA growth at the RSNs, Fox News Channel, National
Geographic Channels and Fox Business Channel was more than offset
by the increased investment in the launch of Fox Sports 1 and FXX
as well as reduced contribution from the FX Network.
Contribution from international cable channels advertising
revenue rose 21%, gaining from robust currency growth at Fox
International Channels (FIC) and STAR.
At the domestic cable channels, affiliate revenues grew 10% due
to increased rates across all networks, with growth primarily
driven by Regional Sports Networks, FX Network and Fox News
Channel. Advertising revenues climbed 6%.
At the international cable channels, affiliate revenues grew 40%,
reflecting improvement at FIC and STAR as well as gains from
former ESS and EMM networks, partly offset by a 7% negative
impact from the stronger U.S. dollar, chiefly in Latin America
's operating income fell 24.2% year over year to $328 million, as
the prior-year quarter benefited from the strong performance of
Ice Age: Continental Drift.
segment's operating income grew 29.8% year over year to $231
million on the back of a more than twofold rise in retransmission
Direct Broadcast Satellite Television
posted a segment operating profit of $190 million,
demonstrating a twofold rise from the year-ago quarter due to the
consolidation of Sky Deutschland results and lower programming
expenses from SKY Italia.
SKY Italia ended the quarter with a subscriber base of 4.76
million, remaining flat year over year
Other Financial Details
Twenty-First Century Fox ended the quarter with cash and cash
equivalents of $6,681 million, borrowings of $17,333 million,
reflecting a debt-to-capitalization ratio of 50.2%, and
shareholders' equity of $17,224 million.
Further, On Oct 16, 2013, Twenty-First Century Fox paid a
dividend of 12.5 cents per share, reflecting a 47% hike from the
semi-annual dividend of 8.5 cents.
Earlier, on Aug 8, 2012, the company's board of directors
approved a $4 billion worth of share buyback program. Through Nov
4, 2013, News Corporation bought back approximately $7.9 billion
of shares at a price of $20.83 per share.
In Nov 2013, Twenty-First Century Fox announced that it has
finalized the divestment of the remaining 12% ownership stake in
Phoenix Satellite Television Holdings Ltd. for about $210
Currently, Twenty-First Century Fox holds a Zacks Rank #3