21st Century Fox Inc. (FOXA:US), Rupert Murdoch’s film and TV company, forecasts revenue growth in the “high single digits” in percentage terms this year. The shares advanced.
The company, which is holding a meeting with analysts and investors today, expects fees from pay-television companies to rise in the “low teens” in percentage terms, Murdoch, the chairman and chief executive officer, and President Chase Carey said on a webcast from the meeting.
Fox is counting on that growth as it commits to $4 billion in share repurchases this year and a 50 percent increase in the dividend to 25 cents. The company also plans to maintain $2 billion to $3 billion in cash, Carey said. Owners of broadcast and cable channels rely on rising licensing fees from pay-TV providers as a second revenue source alongside ad sales.
“People will give up food and a roof over their head before they give up TV,” Carey said.
Fox is forecasting $9 billion in annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization by fiscal 2016, about 14 percent more than the $8.85 billion average of 13 analysts’ estimate (FOXA:US) compiled by Bloomberg.
Shares of Fox, which was split off in June from the publishing operations of Murdoch’s News Corp., rose (FOXA:US) 3.1 percent to $32.79 at the close in New York. The stock has gained 46 percent this year.
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