News Corp. posts 6% increase in profit

News Corp., which disclosed a surprise bid for Dow Jones  last week, reported 6.2% higher profit on gains at its movie studio and cable networks, including Fox News Channel, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said higher earnings from home video sales of 'Borat' and the theatrical release of 'Night at the Museum' and other movies helped drive News Corp.'s profit to $871 million in its third fiscal quarter ended March 31, up from $820 million in the same period a year ago. Revenue rose 21.5% to $7.5 billion.

The earnings were in line with the estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial, the report said.

The Associated Press report further said on a conference call with analysts and reporters, News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch defended his unsolicited offer for Dow Jones, which has run into opposition from the company's controlling shareholders, the Bancroft family, and Dow Jones employees.

Murdoch called his $5 billion proposal a 'full and fair price' for the storied newspaper and financial news company, and said the two companies made a 'perfect fit,' the report said.

Murdoch has said he hoped to use financial news resources from the Journal to help build a business news cable channel that he hopes to launch this year, though he said on the call that those plans would go ahead regardless of whether his bid for Dow Jones succeeds.

Investors seemed to take Murdoch's remarks as signaling an unwillingness to raise his bid for Dow Jones, which currently values the company at $60 per share, a huge premium of more than 65% over where Dow Jones stock had been trading a day before the bid was disclosed, the report further said.

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