Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. (FOXA) was a 2.25% position in Third Point’s 3Q portfolio that was sold last quarter. Twenty-First Century Fox is a diversified media and entertainment company. In its latest 2Q 2014 results, Twenty-First Century Fox saw revenue up 15% to $8.16 billion but profit declined 49% to $1.21 billion, or $0.53 a share. The growth in revenue reflected a $605 million increase at the Direct Broadcast Satellite Television segment, primarily related to the inclusion of Sky Deutschland AG revenue, and a $366 million or 14% increase at the Cable Network Programming segment, led by continued affiliate revenue growth. OIBDA fell 4% to $1.54 billion. Twenty-First Century Fox was spun-off from News Corp (NWSA) in June of last year, and so, the results were a bit skewed. The decline in profit was attributed to launch of new channels, such as Fox Sports and FXX, lackluster results at the filmed entertainment division, and the falling ratings for The X-Factor and American Idol. The company also saw higher programming expenses at its regional sports networks. Lower advertising sales at its broadcasting unit and weakness at its film studio division continued to be a drag on 21st Century Fox’s results. The film studio division’s operating income fell 20% to $337 million on the back of lower theatrical revenues and higher releasing costs for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Walking With Dinosaurs, and The Counselor. Fox expects very favorable film comparisons led by this year’s comparatively stronger releases, including Rio 2, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and X-Men; Days of Future Past. The company declared a semi-annual dividend of $0.125 per share, which represents a yield of 0.78%. The company said it has repurchased nearly $8.9 billion shares at an average price of $21.71 per share since August 2011 through February 5, 2014. The company also last month entered into an agreement to acquire an additional 31% interest in the YES Network for approximately $680 million. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rupert Murdoch said that “our quarterly OIBDA results also reflect the planned investments we are making in our core businesses to support long-term growth.” The company is confident that these investments will drive growth in the future.
XLY and XRT have performed better in terms of absolute returns over longer periods of three and five years
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