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Malone’s Liberty Posts First-Quarter Loss

May 8, 2006  •  Post A Comment

John Malone’s Liberty Media reported a first-quarter loss of $26 million compared with a profit a year ago as foreign currency exchange losses outweighed gains at the QVC home-shopping cable-television channel.

Liberty booked $488 million in foreign-exchange losses in the quarter, mostly related to investments in cable operators overseas, the company said Monday in a statement. Strong sales in the United States drove revenue at QVC up 6 percent to $1.6 billion. Liberty’s companywide revenue rose 9 percent to almost $1.98 billion. The first-quarter profit decline compared with net income of $254 million a year ago.

The results come as Liberty prepares to issue two tracking stocks to mollify investors who have long complained that the company’s mix of assets made it difficult for investors to put a value on the stock.

One tracking stock will include all of Liberty’s interactive assets and trade under the Liberty Interactive name. The other will include the rest of Liberty’s businesses, including Starz and investments in Time Warner and News Corp. That package of units will trade under the name Liberty Capital. Both tracking stocks begin trading on May 10.

Starz reported a 2 percent increase in revenue in the quarter to $259 million. Subscriber growth at the movie-channel business was tempered by an increase in expenses associated with acquiring movies for the unit and lower payments from cable company Comcast Corp.