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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. said Wednesday that net income grew by nearly two-thirds in the final quarter of 2011, despite expenses related to the ongoing phone hacking investigation at its U.K. newspaper unit.Net income in the three-month period that ended on Dec. 31 rose to $1.06 billion, or 42 cents per share, from $642 million, or 24 cents per share in the same period a year earlier.
Excluding one-time benefits and an $87 million charge it took related to government-led phone hacking probes, adjusted earnings came to 39 cents per share. That topped the 34 cents per share expected by analysts polled by FactSet.
Thanks to growth at pay TV channels like Fox News and FX and better results from its movie studio, News Corp.’s revenue rose 2 per cent to $8.98 billion from $8.76 billion a year ago. The figure is slightly higher than the $8.94 billion expected by analysts.
Shares at New York-based News Corp. fell 37 cents, or 1.9 per cent, to $19.25 in after-hours trading following the earnings release.