Digest: Microsoft posts profit

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Microsoft Corp. on Thursday posted an 11% increase in profit and revenue in its fiscal first-quarter. The world's largest software company earned $3.48 billion on revenue of $10.8 billion. Its entertainment and devices division saw revenue growth of 70% to $1 billion, driven by demand for the Xbox 360 and the video game console's software, peripherals and Xbox Live service. Revenue at its online services business fell 4.4% to $539 million.

Regal profit

Regal Entertainment Group on Thursday reported higher quarterly profit mostly because of increased ticket sales thanks to popular summer films. Third-quarter net income rose from $17.2 million a year ago to $29.3 million on revenue that was up 7.5% year-over-year to $675.7 million. The nation's No. 1 movie theater chain also said it will net up to $425 million from a recently announced public offering of National CineMedia, the theater advertising business it owns with AMC Entertainment Inc. and Cinemark USA. Regal also announced a secondary offering of 8.2 million shares to facilitate the sale of Oaktree Capital Management's shares in the company. Shares were flat Thursday at $20.34.

Hearst profit

Increased political advertising helped push profit for Hearst-Argyle Television Inc. up 42% in the third quarter, the company said Thursday. Shares rose 6.8% to $25 after setting a 52-week high of $25.74. Net income rose from $11.7 million a year ago to $16.5 million on revenue that was up 11% to $183 million. Political revenue surged from $2.4 million last year to $23.4 million. Digital media revenue jumped from $113,000 last year to $3.7 million. The company said it also received a modest contribution from a month of revenue from WKCF-TV Orlando, which was acquired in August.
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