Tags: News | Profit | Ad | Revenue

News Corp. Profit Tops Estimates Despite Lower Ad Revenue

Thursday, 06 Feb 2014 07:07 PM

News Corp., the newspaper publisher that owns the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post, beat profit estimates and posted gains in real-estate services and book publishing, even as advertising sales continued to fall.

Excluding some one-time items, second-quarter profit was 31 cents a share, surpassing the 19 cents predicted by analysts, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Sales fell to $2.24 billion in the period, which ended Dec. 31, the New York-based company said. Analysts estimated $2.23 billion.

Like many publishers, Chief Executive Officer Robert Thomson is working to transform the company’s newspapers into a digital business. The challenge is online audiences don’t command the same advertising rates as print readers. To improve its results, the company has tried to keep a lid on expenses and is seeking online acquisitions, such as its purchase of digital-news startup Storyful last year.

“The earnings report demonstrates a measure of progress as we navigate a challenging advertising market,” Thomson said in a statement. “We are continuing to be disciplined on costs, while making opportunistic investments that will extend our revenue reach.”

News Corp. shares climbed as much as 5.2 percent in late trading after the earnings report was released. The stock had declined 11 percent this year.

Dow Jones

News Corp. faces a management transition after pushing out Lex Fenwick, the head of its Dow Jones & Co. unit. He left the company after slow adoption of DJX — a new higher-priced service aimed at professional and corporate customers.

“There’s no doubt the original concept of DJX had a lot of merit, but to be quite frank the execution was not quite right,” Thomson said on a conference call with analysts following the report.

Chairman Rupert Murdoch broke off News Corp. from 21st Century Fox Inc. at the end of June, creating a new business focused mostly on publishing. In addition to owning newspapers, News Corp. held on to an Australian TV business, which includes a 50 percent stake in pay-TV company Foxtel. It also owns education startup Amplify and a controlling stake in REA Group, an online real estate firm in Australia.

News-publishing revenue, which declined 9 percent last quarter, still accounts for more than 70 percent of the company’s total sales. Digital real-estate services were the fastest-growing major division, with sales climbing 18 percent to $103 million. Book-publishing revenue increased 4 percent to $391 million.

Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News, competes with News Corp. in providing financial news and services.

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News Corp., the newspaper publisher that owns the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post, beat profit estimates and posted gains in real-estate services and book publishing, even as advertising sales continued to fall.
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2014-07-06
Thursday, 06 Feb 2014 07:07 PM
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