Fox Corp. Shares Surge After Strong Quarterly Earnings Report

Lachlan Murdoch - chief executive officer of Fox Corporation and co-chairman of News Corp- Getty - H 2019
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The earnings results come a day after Fox agreed to purchase three local TV stations for $350 million.

Fox Corporation on Wednesday reported impressive quarterly financial results — largely due to rising affiliate fees and its decision to rent the Fox Studios Lot to Disney and others — that had shares of the company led by CEO Lachlan Murdoch trading 5 percent higher in after-market action.

The earnings results come a day after Fox agreed to purchase three local TV stations in Seattle and Milwaukee from Nexstar Media Group for $350 million while selling two Charlotte, North Carolina, stations to Nexstar for $45 million.

Fox became a slimmed-down, publicly traded company after Rupert Murdoch agreed to sell most of 21st Century Fox to Disney for $71 billion. The new Fox is largely focused on news and sports, where advertising dollars are flowing since they are largely watched live.

Even so, advertising was a relative weakness for Fox as it sunk 4 percent, with the company blaming the absence of UFC during the quarter (it left for ESPN at the end of the year) and fewer FIFA World Cup matches.

The CEO cited strength in shows like The Masked Singer, WWE Friday Night Smackdown and Thursday Night Football

The company said it earned 83 cents per share in the most recent quarter, which was about 14 cents higher than many analysts had forecast. Revenue of $2.7 billion beat projections by about $70 million.

Murdoch said Wednesday that the company saw 30 percent digital growth year-over-year, and he raved about the prospects for Fox Bet, the wagering initiative that has partnered with FanDuel, a sports fantasy site.