21st Century Fox Revenue Tops Views Amid Disney Buzz
After the close, 21st Century Fox (FOXA) reported better-than-expected third-quarter results, but investors remain focused on recent reports that Rupert Murdoch’s media giant held talks to sell the bulk of itself to Walt Disney (DIS).
XAutoplay: On | OffEstimates: A 6.5% profit decline to 48 cents a share on 5.6% revenue growth to $6.87 billion, according to Zacks Investment Research.
Results: Fox earned 49 cents a share, beating the Zacks estimate by a penny, but meeting some other views. Revenue rose 8% to $7 billion.
Stock: Shares rose about 1% to 28.34 in initial after-hours trading. 21st Century Fox closed 1.2% higher at 28.09 in the stock market today, after a near-10% spike on Monday and further climb Tuesday, in the wake of CNBC’s report on sale talks. Tuesday’s gains helped the stock touch its 200-day line for the first time since August.
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Fox also said it expects the B Sky B takeover deal to be finished by June 30, 2018, despite analyst skepticism that regulators will approve it.
Earnings followed a Bloomberg report that Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal sold his nearly 5% stake in Fox; he was a critical ally and top holder of Class B shares of the Rupert Murdoch-helmed media conglomerate. Alwaleed was arrested over the weekend as the Saudi crown prince uses an anti-corruption drive to consolidate power.
In other media merger news, U.S. regulators are pushing AT&T (T) and Time Warner (TWX) to divest CNN to win merger approval, according to several media reports. Earlier in the day, AT&T’s CFO said the timing of when the deal will close is “uncertain.”
Disney reports Thursday night. Disney shares fell 0.4% after strong gains in the prior two sessions.
AT&T shares rose 1.1%, while Time Warner lost 6.6% to its lowest in nearly a year.