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Business Briefs

Feb 18, 2002  •  Post A Comment

News Corp. smarting from sports costs
News Corp. is taking a $909 million write-down in its fiscal second quarter for advertising revenue shortfalls it will realize during the years remaining on its NFL, Major League Baseball and NASCAR contracts. “You would have to say that we overpaid based on this write-down,” News Corp. President and CEO Peter Chernin told analysts. Declining network ratings and declining advertising revenues, for which there is no forecasted 2002 recovery, caused the company to lower its fiscal 2002 guidance to mid-single-digit growth for News Corp. operating income and mid-single-digit earnings growth at the Fox Entertainment Group.
Cox not buying
Cox Communications chief Jim Robbins told analysts the company is in no hurry to acquire rival cable operators, including Adelphia Communications, as was widely speculated. “Our bid for AT&T Broadband was driven by a unique set of circumstances. … We don’t see any opportunities that present any urgency to do any kind of deal,” Mr. Robbins said during an earnings call. Cox reported a wider fourth-quarter net loss of $110 million, or 18 cents a share, from $71.6 million, or 12 cents a share a year ago, on $1.08 billion in revenues, up 14 percent.
Charter warns of slower growth
Charter Communications reported a wider-than-expected fourth-quarter loss of $306 million, or $1.04 a share, on a 13.4 percent rise in revenues to $1.11 billion. Although fourth-quarter operating cash flow rose to $502.6 million, from $452.7 million a year earlier, the company warned of slower digital growth and declining basic subscribers in 2002.