News Corporation Logs 1.9% Revenue Increase

Features Reuters

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp (NWSA), which publishes the New York Post, reported quarterly revenue and a profit above average analyst estimate as its burgeoning book publishing and real estate businesses offset dwindling print revenue.

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News Corp and Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (FOXA) were part of the same company until they were spun off into separate listed entities in June 2013, representing the previous firm's publishing and broadcasting businesses, respectively.

News Corp also owns the Wall Street Journal and the "Australian" newspapers, book publishers HarperCollins and Harlequin Enterprises, stakes in Australian pay-TV and digital real estate businesses, and education company Amplify.

The print media industry has been waging a losing battle as subscribers and advertisers move their money online, forcing publishers such as News Corp watch advertisers spend less to place ads in their papers.

Revenue at News Corp's news and information unit, which holds newspaper and online assets, fell about 5.5 percent to $1.52 billion, hurt by lower advertising and subscription sales, in the second quarter ended Dec. 31.

Revenue from book publishing, which accounts for about a fifth of total revenue, however, jumped 20 percent to $469 million.

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Revenue from the high-margin digital real estate business, where the company provides services to aid real estate agents in selling or renting properties, soared about 50 percent.

Excluding items, the company earned 26 cents per share.

Analysts, on average, had expected a profit of 24 cents per share, on revenue of $2.25 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net income available to shareholders fell to $142 million, or 24 cents per share, from $150 million, or 26 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue at the publisher rose to $2.28 billion from $2.24 billion.

(Reporting by Anya George Tharakan in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Joyjeet Das)