News Corp. 4th quarter swings to a profit but results miss expectations

MarketsAssociated Press

Media company News Corp. said Thursday its fiscal fourth-quarter net income swung to a profit as the company completed its first full year as a stand-alone print-focused business.

Net income fell short of expectations, however, as weak advertising sales weighed on revenue.

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CEO Robert Thomson said the company "made significant progress" in achieving its goal "to be more global and more digital through organic growth, product launches and strategic acquisitions."

Newspaper revenue has been declining for years and News Corp. is one of several media companies, including Gannett, Time Warner and Tribune Co., which are in the process of or already have split up its print business and more profitable broadcasting business into separate companies. News Corp. split off Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. last summer.

News Corp., controlled by Rupert Murdoch, said net income after paying preferred dividends totaled $12 million, or 2 cents per share. That compares with a net loss of $1.12 billion, or $1.94 per share in the prior year period. Excluding one-time items net income was a penny per share. Analysts expected 3 cents per share, according to FactSet.

Revenue fell 3 percent to $2.19 billion from $2.26 billion last year, hurt by lower advertising revenue. Analysts expected $2.17 billion.

For the year, net income fell 53 percent to $237 million, or 41 cents per share, from $506 million, or 87 cents per share, last year.

Revenue fell 4 percent to $8.57 billion from $8.89 billion a year ago.

Shares in the New York company, whose flagship publication is The Wall Street Journal, were up 8 cents to $17.50 in after-market trading following the release of the earnings report.