Earnings Preview: News Corp 3Q profit seen down

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- News Corp. is expected to record higher quarterly revenue but lower profit on Wednesday after the market closes. It marks one of the company's last quarterly earnings releases before the planned spin-off of its publishing division this summer.

WHAT TO EXPECT: Smaller audiences for Fox's TV show, "American Idol," may cut into revenue gains in its broadcast TV division.

Profit at the 20th Century Fox movie studio is also expected to be crimped somewhat due to the late March release of DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc.'s "The Croods." The movie's cost will be reflected in the quarter, but not most of its revenue. The release is the first in a new deal with DreamWorks.

Analysts expect a steady rise in payments for the right to carry News Corp.'s pay TV networks like Fox News and FX, which are the main drivers of the company's growing revenue.

Analysts are also looking forward to the spin-off of the company's publishing division, which is mostly made up of Dow Jones, publisher of The Wall Street Journal.

Declines in print advertising revenue have plagued the newspaper industry, and analysts don't value the publishing division's profits as highly as they do the entertainment division's.

Since the split was announced last June, News Corp.'s stock is up 59 percent. The split is expected to be complete by the end of June.

WHY IT MATTERS: News Corp. is one of the largest media and entertainment companies in the world, with its Fox brand on multiple TV channels around the globe. It owns newspapers in the U.S., Australia and the U.K., where it faces ongoing probes into a hacking and bribery scandal. It is a major source of entertainment and information for consumers worldwide.

WHAT'S EXPECTED: Analysts polled by FactSet are looking for an adjusted 35 cents per share of profit on revenue of $9.08 billion.

LAST YEAR'S QUARTER: News Corp. posted adjusted earnings of 37 cents per share on revenue of $8.40 billion.