Q2 profit up 17% for News Corp.'s NDS

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NDS Group, a television technology firm owned by News Corp., reported a fiscal second-quarter profit that rose 17% compared with the same period a year ago, though results slightly missed analysts' projections.

NDS, which provides digital TV smart cards worldwide and DVR set-top boxes to DirecTV Group, said its profit for the quarter ending Dec. 31 was $30.3 million, up from $26 million a year ago. On a per-share basis, it earned 52 cents, about a penny short of Wall Street predictions.

Like NDS, DirecTV is controlled by News Corp. until Liberty Media takes it over this year.

NDS' revenue for the quarter was up 8% to $165.1 million, just ahead of analysts' expectations.

The company said its digital smart-card business, which went from 61.4 million active cards a year ago to 69.6 million, were quick to grow in Europe, China and India.

NDS said it deployed 1.1 million DVR boxes in the latest quarter for a total reach of 5.3 million, up from 2 million a year ago; it deployed 5.5 million set-top boxes that use NDS middleware for a cumulative 50.2 million, up from 34.1 million a year ago.

Chairman and CEO Abe Peled said NDS "has made tangible progress in developing products for the rapidly changing media distribution landscape."

He specifically noted the company's acquisition of Jungo Ltd., which supplies technology that serves as the interface between broadband networks and consumer electronics devices that are attached in home networks. Such technology is integral to IPTV.

NDS shares fell 1% on Tuesday to $47.50. Shares of DVR pioneer TiVo Inc. seemed little affected by NDS' DVR update, closing down 1.3% at $5.42.
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