Feb. 06- News Corp. and Time Warner are the latest media conglomerates to report strong earnings tied to strength in cable properties. Bobbi Rebell reports.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS 4:3 MATERIAL Cable is king for News Corp. Strong ad sales for its networks helped propel results. Rupert Murdoch's empire - which owns Fox broadcasting, film studio Twentieth Century Fox and the Wall Street Journal reported higher quarterly revenue and profits. RBC Capital Market's David Bank: SOUNDBITE: DAVID BANK, ANALYST, RBC CAPITAL MARKETS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Backward looking it was a great quarter. You know a beat in almost every division. Great results. On the forward looking basis though they took guidance down which is going to be somewhat disappointing. The guidance went down on businesses that we probably care a bit less about on things like the Italian DBS division or Australian newspapers. To a lesser extent, the U.S. broadcast network. " That sent shares of the company downward, adding to a slight loss in the regular session, which Bank sees as a buying opportunity. The results followed stellar numbers from Time Warner- which announced a dividend hike-giving its stock a boost on Wednesday. Media properties like HBO are going strong. Time Warner has been able to charge cable and satellite companies more, boost ad revenue- and leverage the content to platforms like mobile devices. Something Disney- whose results beat forecasts on Tuesday- has been doing as well. For example inking a new deal with Netflix. SOUNDBITE: DAVID BANK, ANALYST, RBC CAPITAL MARKETS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Most of these companies, even Disney at the core- Disney is essentially a cable company. It is really the bulk of the value is driven by ESPN, so if you think about, what is driving these fundamentals? It is the cable business and affiliate fee growth is solid domestic and internationally. And advertising is solid domestic and internationally so you know that is what is driving them all." S&P Capital IQ's Tuna Amobi: SOUNDBITE: TUNA AMOBI, EQUITY ANALYST, S&P CAPITAL IQ (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The key theme is that multiplatform is the buzz word and companies realize that they can recycle this content and leverage it across and basically for little or no additional cost boost their bottom line significantly" One area still haunting the media business - publishing. News Corp. is still working on a plan to separate its publishing unit from the rest of the empire. Time Warner's print business- which includes People magazine and other high profile titles- is struggling as well. It's cutting jobs- and according to Amobi - may also be getting ready for a possible sale or spinoff.