Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Thanks, Jim Cameron! “Avatar” Gives News Corp. a Big Bump.

Wall Street was expecting big things from “Avatar”–this is what happens when you’re the biggest movie in history–and it delivered.

The film’s performance helped push News Corp.’s quarterly earnings above Wall Street’s expectations, generating revenue of $8.8 billion and earnings of 32 cents per share. Analysts had been looking for $8.23 billion and 22 cents, respectively.

Some of that lift came from Rupert Murdoch’s movie unit, which recorded the highest operating income in its history. But News Corp. (NWS), which owns this Web site, had a pretty good quarter all the way around. Even its newspaper properties, which have been a drag on the company for some time, are on the rebound, with The Wall Street Journal posting a 25 percent jump in ad revenue.

Per usual, there’s next to nothing in News Corp.’s documents to suggest that it’s in the Internet business in any way. The company does mention that its Digital Media Group–essentially, MySpace and a few other properties–saw operating losses increase “principally due to lower search and advertising revenue.” But it doesn’t offer more information.

I’m sure we’ll get into some details and perhaps updates on other News Corp. digital efforts, like fighting Google (GOOG) and building pay walls, during the company’s earnings call. Check out the liveblog here.