Gemstar profit up 42% in Q2

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Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. has posted a 42% jump in its second-quarter profit thanks to more patent licensing deals for its interactive program guides, higher advertising revenue at TV Guide magazine and increased distribution of its TV networks.

The company, supported by 41% shareholder News Corp., recently said that it is exploring a possible sale or other strategic options (HR 7/10). In a conference call Friday, executives declined comment on the process but said management remains focused on its business and executing well.

Gemstar reported a second-quarter profit of $20.8 million, up from $14.6 million a year ago. Revenue rose 17% from last year's quarter to $155.6 million.

"The second quarter was once again a period of significant progress across the company's businesses, and we are pleased with the results," Gemstar CEO Rich Battista said.

The company's guidance technology and solutions unit saw quarterly revenue rise 40% to $70.7 million, or 45% of overall revenue.

TV Guide magazine revenue edged up 2% to $35 million, driven by a 16% ad improvement, allowing the publishing arm to reduce its operating-cash-flow loss from $9.6 million a year ago to $1 million in the latest period.

Gemstar's TV networks unit posted a 3% revenue gain to $49.9 million in the second quarter, or 32% of total revenue. Online networks brought in a 42% revenue increase, with TV Guide Network being up 3%.

Gemstar said it expects higher costs for some of its operations in the second half as it invests in producing TV programs and marketing TV Guide.
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