Twenty-First Century Fox beats on earnings and revenue

Key Points
  • Twenty-First Century Fox reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings that beat analysts' expectations for both earnings per share and revenue on Wednesday.
21st Century Fox beats on top and bottom line
21st Century Fox beats on top and bottom line

Twenty-First Century Fox reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings that beat analysts' expectations on Wednesday.

Here's how the company did compared with Thomson Reuters consensus estimates:

  • Earnings: 57 cents per share vs. 54 cents per share expected
  • Revenue: $7.94 billion vs. $7.56 billion expected

In the year-ago quarter, Fox reported earnings of 36 cents a share on revenue of $6.75 billion. In a statement, the company attributed the 18 percent year-over-year revenue increase to "strong double-digit growth across all operating segments led by higher content revenues at the Filmed Entertainment segment and higher affiliate and advertising revenues at the Cable Network Programming and Television segments."

The stock was unchanged following the release. Shares of Fox have surged 62 percent in the past 12 months, hitting a fresh all-time intraday high of $50.15 on June 29.

The Rupert Murdoch-controlled company is locked in a bidding war with Comcast over the 61 percent of Sky it does not currently own.

On Tuesday, Fox formally submitted its 14 pounds a share offer to buy the pay TV operator. That bid is still below Comcast's 14.75 pounds a share offer for Sky. Fox now has until Sept. 22 to submit a revised offer.

That battle comes as Disney claimed victory against Comcast over the purchase of Fox assets. In July, to combine Disney with Fox's film and television studios. Disney will also take Fox's stakes in European pay TV operator Sky, India's Star and Hulu.

Fox's management is said to believe that a smaller company focused on news and sports would be more competitive in the current media landscape. Fox News has dominated Nielsen ratings, consistently ranking as the most watched cable news network in America.

CNBC previously reported that fear of being outspent on content was one of the main reasons Murdoch considered selling much of Fox. Tech giants like Netflix and Amazon have committed billions to licensing and producing content for their streaming services, making the bidding wars increasingly competitive.

Keeping up with Silicon Valley-style cash burn requires a certain footprint that Fox doesn't have. In November, CNBC also reported that Fox's senior management didn't see a way to gain the necessary scale through acquisition.

Disclosure: Comcast is the owner of NBCUniversal, parent company of CNBC and Comcast is also a co-owner of Hulu.