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QVC, Starz Drive Liberty Q4

As it nears a planned spin-off of two tracking stocks, Liberty Media reported strong results in the fourth quarter, fueled by subscriber gains at its Starz Entertainment premium channels and a needed boost at its QVC home shopping channel.

Liberty announced plans earlier last year to spin out its two tracking stocks - Liberty Capital (which houses several minority investments in media companies) and Liberty Starz (basically the Starz premium cable channel). While Liberty Capital and Liberty Starz would remain tracking stocks, the transaction would essentially convert a third tracker (Liberty Interactive (which houses QVC and other assets) into an asset-backed security. On a conference call with analysts to discuss results, Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei said a Delaware lawsuit that was holding up the spin is winding down. He estimated a decision would be made in about six weeks, in time for an April shareholders meeting to vote on the spins.

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