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Fox's affiliate revenue growth drives fiscal Q4 beats

Fox Corp.'s fiscal fourth-quarter 2019 results beat EPS and revenue expectations, driven by 7% year-over-year growth in its network affiliate revenue.

The company's total revenues jumped 5% year over year to $2.51 billion in the quarter ended June 30, up from $2.39 billion a year earlier. Fox attributed the increase to network affiliate revenue growth of 7%, driven by an 18% increase at the television segment and a 78% increase in other revenues, primarily due to higher digital content licensing revenues at the television segment.

This revenue growth was partially offset by a 6% decline in advertising revenues, which reflected lower contributions from FIFA Women's World Cup programming in the just-ended quarter compared with those from the men's event in the prior year, partially offset by higher digital advertising sales at FOX News.

The consensus estimate for consolidated revenue during the quarter was $2.47 billion, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Fox's cable network programming segment posted quarterly revenue of $1.30 billion, up from $1.27 billion a year ago, primarily due to a $27 million or 3% increase in affiliate revenues led by contractual price increases across all networks, partially offset by net subscriber declines.

For its fiscal year 2019, the company's total revenues increased to $11.39 billion from $10.15 in the previous fiscal year. That compared to consensus expectations for full-year revenue of $11.36 billion.

Fox reported fiscal fourth-quarter net income attributable to stockholders of $454 million, or 73 cents per share, down from $471 million, or 76 cents per share, in the prior-year quarter. On a non-GAAP adjusted basis, Fox reported net income of $389 million, or 62 cents per share, for the quarter ended in June, compared to $416 million, or 67 cents per share, in the comparable 2018 quarter.

Its full-year attributable income for fiscal 2019 came to $1.60 billion, or $2.57 per share, compared to $2.19 billion, or $3.52 per share, in the year-ago period.

The S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus EPS estimates for the quarter was 59 cents both on a normalized and GAAP basis. Normalized and GAAP EPS estimates for the fiscal year was $2.48 and $2.41, respectively.