News Corp Revenue Rises 4% On Strong Book Sales

Earnings Reuters

News Corp (NWSA), publisher of the Wall Street Journal, reported quarterly revenue and profit above estimates, helped by higher sales at its book publishing and online real estate businesses.

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Shares of the company rose 4 percent in extended trading.

Along with from the Journal and the New York Post, News Corp's properties include the Australian newspaper, book publishers HarperCollins and Harlequin Enterprises, stakes in Australian pay-TV and digital real estate businesses, and education company Amplify.

Revenue from book publishing - which accounts for about 19 percent of total revenue - rose about 24 percent to $406 million in the first quarter, helped by higher book sales at its HarperCollins unit.

Revenue from digital real estate services also rose 24 percent. Real estate brokers are expected by analysts to spend $14 billion on online advertising in 2014, of which News Corp's Move unit is expected to corner about 2 percent.

In September, the company said it will buy Move Inc <MOVE.O>, the owner of property websites such as realtor.com, for about $950 million to expand its digital business as print advertising dwindles.

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Revenue at the news and information unit, which holds newspaper and online assets, fell about 3 percent, hurt by lower advertising and subscription sales, but overall company revenue rose 4 percent to $2.15 billion.

Net income available to the company's shareholders was $65 million, or 11 cents per share, in the first quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with a loss of $27 million, or 5 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned 9 cents per share.

Analysts expected a profit of 3 cents per share on revenue of $2.09 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Shares of the company closed at $15.30 on the Nasdaq on Wednesday. They have fallen about 15 percent this year.

(Reporting by Soham Chatterjee and Anya George Tharakan in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das)