Media conglomerate News Corp.
The top line grew by 16% to $7.8 billion -- gotta love double-digit revenue growth. Operating income grew by an even higher percentage, up 20% to $1.1 billion. And diluted earnings per share from continuing operations -- which excludes the positive effect of an asset disposition in the previous year -- came in at $0.27, compared to $0.22 observed in last year's comparable quarter, which represented another 23% gain.
Movies driving the company's great performance, especially the stellar 57% growth in filmed entertainment operating income, included the Borat picture -- high five! -- and the DVD of the third X-Men feature based on the Marvel Entertainment
The Fox broadcasting network was a cause of the 39% decrease in operating income for the television segment overall. To be sure, it's a tough competitive landscape out there, with Disney's
Here's the favorite part of the earnings release for many Fools: the statement of cash flows. Net cash from operations happily benefited from the rise in net income during the last six months -- it increased 53% to come in at $705 million. Fans of free cash flow will enjoy the fact that News Corp. generated $97 million in free green for the six-month period versus $49 million in last year's similar time frame. Unfortunately, $97 million doesn't cover the dividend obligations and acquisition ambitions for a big brute like News Corp.
Nevertheless, News Corp. is growing its bottom line, and it has $5.4 billion in cash and equivalents on its balance sheet. Long-term borrowings have been flat, and operating income is ample enough to cover interest expense. News Corp. can afford right now to invest in its operations. Overall, the company is doing a decent job but is facing tough challenges in some of its segments.
Memo to Murdoch -- you're doing all right, mate.
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Fool contributor Steven Mallas owns shares of Disney, General Electric, and Marvel Entertainment. As of this writing, he was ranked 13,972 out of 21,890 investors in the CAPS system. Don't know what CAPS is? Check it out. The Fool has a disclosure policy.