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News Corp. profit up 47% in third quarter

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., the global media conglomerate under fire for phone hacking and alleged bribery in Britain, posted a 47 percent increase in third-quarter net income thanks to strong performances at its pay TV networks and its movie studio.

The results beat analyst expectations. The company also announced it would buy back another $6.1 billion worth of shares in the coming year, a move that should bolster the share price.

The company's shares rose 52 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $19.90 in after-hours trading.

Net income in the three months to March 31 rose to $937 million, or 38 cents per share, from $639 million, or 24 cents per share, a year ago.

News Corp. booked $63 million in legal fees in the quarter to deal with the ongoing investigation of its British newspaper unit.

Excluding that charge and other unusual items, adjusted earnings came to 37 cents per share, beating the 31 cents expected by analysts polled by FactSet.

Revenue rose 2 percent to $8.40 billion, beating the $8.25 billion analysts expected.

News Corp. reiterated its forecast for full-year adjusted operating profits to grow in the "low to mid-teen" percentages from the $4.98 billion posted nearly a year ago. The company's fiscal year ends June 30. The company said, however, that it was likely to be on the low end of the range because of a slowdown at the 20th Century Fox movie studio and weak ad markets at its newspapers.

The forecast excludes scandal-related charges, which have come to $167 million for the first nine months of the fiscal year.

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