Earnings: News Corp., Cisco

Earnings: News Corp. | Cisco

News Corp. Profit Up 19 Percent on Movies, Cable

NEW YORK (Reuters) - News Corp. (NWS ) Tuesday said its quarterly net profit rose 19 percent boosted by advertising sales at theFox News Channel, "Ice Age: The Meltdown" film ticket sales and a gain from the sale of radio stations.

The media conglomerate run byRupert Murdoch posted a fourth quarter profit of $852 million, or 27 cents per share, up from a year earlier profit of $717 million, or 22 cents per share.

Quarterly profit was boosted by a $134 million gain from the sale of a radio station group in the Netherlands and Germany.

Revenue rose 11 percent to $6.8 billion.

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Wall Street analysts expected the company to post a profit of 23 cents and revenue of $6.76 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.

News Corp. widely held Class A shares have risen nearly 25 percent this year. Its shares trade at an enterprise value of 12 times its anticipated 2007 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, ahead of its peers Walt Disney Co.at 10 times and Time Warner Inc. at 7.62 times.

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News Corp. is the parent company of FOX News, which operates FOXNews.com.

Cisco Systems 4Q Earnings Top Estimates

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) Tuesday reported quarterly revenue and income that exceeded market expectations as companies upgraded their networks, sending its shares up 9 percent.

Chief Executive John Chambers told analysts on a conference call that momentum was strong for the network equipment maker and he forecast fiscal 2007 revenue growth of 19 percent to 21 percent.

Cisco, the world's No. 1 maker of routers and switches that direct Internet traffic, said sales for its fiscal fourth quarter ended July 29 rose to $7.98 billion from $6.6 billion, topping the average Wall Street forecast of $7.92 billion according to Reuters Estimates.

Profit excluding special items was $1.9 billion, or 30 cents per share, compared with $1.6 billion, or 25 cents per share a year earlier. Analysts expected earnings before items of $1.79 billion, or 28 cents per share.

"On first blush, the revenue number is pretty good. It beat the general consensus," said Sunil Reddy, a senior portfolio manager at Fifth Third Asset Management. "You put that in the background of a decent valuation and the anemic technology market and Cisco has delivered a pretty good number."

Cisco's shares have fallen around 10 percent over the past 12 months amid concerns about consolidation in the telecommunications industry, but smaller rival Juniper Networks has shed around 45 percent.

Cisco's shares rose $1.567, or 9 percent, in after-hours trading on the Inet electronic brokerage system after closing on the Nasdaq Tuesday at $17.29.

Network equipment for business and telecommunications networks accounts for most of Cisco's revenue, but the company has been expanding into the consumer market as seen in its acquisition of cable set-top box maker Scientific Atlanta, a deal finalized in February.

Scientific Atlanta contributed $582 million to the fourth quarter revenue, Cisco said.

"Part of the upside on revenues was from Scientific Atlanta, but there was also some organic upside as well," said Erik Suppiger, network specialist at Pacific Growth Equities.

Fourth quarter net income rose marginally to $1.544 billion, or 25 cents per share, from $1.540 billion, or 24 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. Figures for the latest quarter included stock-based compensation expense and employee stock purchases.

Analysts have said demand for more advanced communications networks appeared firm at the moment, but slower U.S. economic growth and consolidation in the telecommunications industry were risks for Cisco in the future.