21st Century Fox Projects ‘High Single Digit’ Revenue Growth

21st Century Fox Inc., Rupert Murdoch’s film and TV company, forecasts revenue growth in the “high single digits” in percentage terms this year. The shares advanced.

The company, which is holding a meeting with analysts and investors today, expects fees from pay-television companies to rise in the “low teens” in percentage terms, Murdoch, the chairman and chief executive officer, and President Chase Carey said on a webcast from the meeting.

Fox is counting on that growth as it commits to $4 billion in share repurchases this year and a 50 percent increase in the dividend to 25 cents. The company also plans to maintain $2 billion to $3 billion in cash, Carey said. Owners of broadcast and cable channels rely on rising licensing fees from pay-TV providers as a second revenue source alongside ad sales.

“People will give up food and a roof over their head before they give up TV,” Carey said.

CBS Corp. channels in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas have been blocked out for Time Warner Cable Inc. subscribers this week because of a dispute over such fees.

Fox is forecasting $9 billion in annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization by fiscal 2016, about 14 percent more than the $8.85 billion average of 13 analysts’ estimate compiled by Bloomberg.

Shares of Fox, which was split off in June from the publishing operations of Murdoch’s News Corp., rose 3.1 percent to $32.79 at the close in New York. The stock has gained 46 percent this year.

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