Fox revenue misses on lackluster DVD sales

(Reuters) - Twenty-First Century Fox Inc reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue, mainly due to a decline in DVD sales from a year ago, when “X-Men: Days of Futures Past” and “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” were released for home viewing.

The flag of the Twenty-First Century Fox Inc is seen waving at the company headquarters in the Manhattan borough in New York June 11, 2015. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

The company’s shares were down about 2.5 percent in after-hours trading on Monday.

Revenue from Fox’s filmed entertainment business fell about 14 percent to $2.36 billion in the second quarter, accounting for nearly a third of the company’s total revenue.

Fox said DVD sales were hit by the weak performance of “Spy”, a comedy starring Jason Statham and Melissa McCarthy, offsetting strong box-office collections of Oscar-nominated “The Martian”.

The company’s cable network business, which includes the Fox News and National Geographic channels, was a bright spot.

Revenue at the business rose 9.4 percent to $3.70 billion, boosted by strong viewership for NBA games and Republican presidential debates.

That helped the company meet profit estimates for the quarter ended Dec. 31.

Excluding special items, the company earned 44 cents per share from continuing operations, in line with the average analyst estimate, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Total net income attributable to shareholders fell to $672 million, or 34 cents per share, in the quarter, from $6.21 billion, or $2.88 per share, a year earlier.

The year-ago quarter included Fox’s direct broadcast satellite television business, which the company has since sold.

Adjusted for the sale, Fox’s revenue fell marginally to $7.38 billion in the quarter from $7.42 billion a year earlier, below the average analyst estimate of $7.51 billion.

Reporting By Lehar Maan in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty