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Liberty Media Reports Profit in 3rd Quarter

Earnings: Gain from investments in telephone and cable-television providers reverses a year-earlier loss.

November 15, 2000|From Bloomberg News

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Liberty Media Corp. said Tuesday that it had a third-quarter profit, reversing a year-earlier loss, from investments in telephone and cable-TV providers.

Net income was $2.62 billion, contrasted with a loss of $213 million a year earlier. Liberty didn't disclose per-share earnings.

Liberty, run by cable pioneer John Malone, is AT&T Corp.'s television programming arm. It said third-quarter gains on dispositions swelled to $4.4 billion, from $12 million a year ago. Sales more than doubled to $436 million.

Liberty said it had a $4.4-billion gain before taxes when it got a 21% stake in Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. through Gemstar's acquisition of TV Guide Inc. in July. Liberty owned TV Guide shares.

Liberty agreed Sept. 27 to give its stake in Pasadena-based Gemstar, the largest distributor of interactive TV program guides, to Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. in exchange for a larger News Corp. stake.

Liberty has few operations of its own. As of Sept. 30, it had $61.6 billion invested in companies such as Sprint Corp. and Time Warner Inc.

Liberty is run with little interference from New York-based AT&T, the largest U.S. cable-TV and long-distance phone provider.

Liberty has said it will release its complete earnings report today. Officials weren't immediately available to comment.

Liberty shares, which have fallen 45% over the last year, fell 25 cents to close at $15.56 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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