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Fox Corp profit beats on higher affiliate revenue

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By Reuters

(Reuters) – Fox Corp <FOXA.O> beat analysts’ estimates for quarterly profit on Wednesday, as it collected higher fees from cable and satellite operators, online distributors and digital television content licensees, sending its shares up 2.4% after market.

The company was spun-off into an independent company in March this year, after Walt Disney Co <DIS.N> won the bidding war against Comcast Corp <CMCSA.O> and bought 21st Century Fox’s film and television units for $71 billion.

Fox Corp, part of Rupert Murdoch’s empire, reported a 4% increase in its affiliate revenue, or the fees collected from cable and satellite operators and online distributors, to $1.39 billion in its third quarter as a stand-alone company.

Revenue from advertising fell about 2%, while that from its cable division rose 1.6% to $1.28 billion.

The company also announced a stockholders agreement with the Murdoch Family Trust (MFT) where the Murdoch family collectively do not own more than 44% of the voting power of the Class B shares.

The stockholders agreement will terminate upon MFT’s distribution of all or substantially all of its Class B common stock, the company said.

Net income attributable to stockholders for the three months ended Sept. 30 fell to $499 million, or 80 cents per share, from $604 million, or 97 cents per share, a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, the company earned 83 cents per share, beating analysts’ estimate of 69 cents per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Total revenue rose nearly 5% to $2.67 billion, above estimates of $2.60 billion.

(Reporting by Ambhini Aishwarya in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Shounak Dasgupta)