News Corp. Profit Narrowly Beats Expectations

News Corp. Ltd. (NWS) on Wednesday said fourth-quarter profit rose on strong advertising sales at its television stations and cable networks.

The global media conglomerate controlled by Rupert Murdoch posted a fourth-quarter net profit of $399 million, or 27 cents per American depositary receipt (search), compared with a profit of $370 million, or 28 cents, a year earlier.

The ADR amount slipped because News Corp. has issued about 130.7 million ADRs of the company as partial payment to Hughes Electronics (search) to acquire a 34 percent stake in DirecTV Group Inc. (DTV).

Excluding items, the company posted a profit of $429 million, or 29 cents a share, narrowly beating analysts' expectations for a profit of 28 cents an ADR and revenue of $5.24 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.

Revenue increased 20 percent to $5.5 billion.

A plan to reincorporate the company in the United States was approved by the board of directors this week, moving it a step closer to luring more American institutional interest in the stock. News Corp. is currently based in Australia.

News Corp. ADRs closed down 52 cents, or 1.6 percent, at $32 on the New York Stock Exchange (search) on Wednesday.

News Corp. is the parent company of the Fox News Channel, which operates