Box Office Helps News Corp. Top Profit Expectations

Media company News Corp. reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings ahead of market expectations Wednesday, as strength at the box office and in its home video business offset a drop in income for broadcast television.

News Corp. reported earnings from continuing operations of $822 million, or 26 cents a share, for its fiscal second quarter ended December, compared with $694 million, or 21 cents a share, in the same quarter a year ago.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial predicted earnings of 25 cents a share.

Profit at its filmed entertainment division rose to $470 million in the quarter from $299 million in the same quarter of 2005, thanks the hit comedy "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan."

Continued international success of "The Devil Wears Prada" and DVD sales of Oscar-nominated "Little Miss Sunshine" and "X-Men: The Last Stand" also helped boost earnings.

Broadcast television income fell to $122 million in the last three months of 2006, down from $183 million in the year-ago period.