21st Century Fox announces $US5b buyback

21st Century Fox, the entertainment company spun-off from News Corporation, reported better-than-expected earnings and a new $US5 billion stock-buyback program following its recent leadership changes.

The moves saw Lachlan Murdoch appointed co executive chairman and his brother, James, chief executive.

The Fox fourth-quarter result was driven by cable networks and a gain on its sale of satellite businesses. However, total revenue fell because of declines in the filmed entertainment segment and the sale of the satellite businesses.

Revenue for cable network programming grew to $US3.57 billion from $US3.35 billion a year earlier, but television revenue fell to $US987 million from $US1.03 billion. Revenue from filmed entertainment declined to $US1.91 billion from $US2.8 billion.

The company also reported a new $US5 billion buyback program to be completed over the next 12 months.

Overall, for the fourth quarter, the company posted a profit of $US87 million, or US4c a share, down from $US999 million, or US45c a share, a year earlier.

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