News Corp. Posts 27% Jump in Quarterly Earnings

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. reported fourth quarter profit rose 27 percent from the sale of its interests in Fox Sports Bay Area and Gemstar-TV Guide International as well as double-digit percentage profit jumps in nearly all divisions.

News Corp's television unit was among the weak spots in the quarter, with operating income falling 28 percent hurt by lower advertising revenue at the local stations and primetime ad sales declining due to lower ratings at the network.

The company that owns 20th Century Fox movie studios, Fox News, Sky Italia and the Times of London said its fourth quarter net profit rose to $1.1 billion, or 43 cents per share, from a profit of $890 million, or 28 cents per share a year earlier.

Revenue rose 17 percent to $8.6 billion.

News Corp shares have fallen 32 percent this year, worse than many of its peers such as Time Warner, whose shares have fallen 14 percent, on investors fears Murdoch may invest more heavily in the newspaper sector following his $5.6 billion purchase of Wall Street Journal publisher Dow Jones last year.