News Corp.'s stock jumped 3.9% in after-hours trade Wednesday, after the media and information services company reported fiscal first-quarter profit and sales that rose above expectations. Net earnings for the quarter ended Sept. 30 were $65 million, or 11 cents a share, up from $27 million, or 5 cents a share, in the same period a year earlier. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted per-share earnings rose to 9 cents from 3 cents, beating the FactSet consensus analyst estimate of 3 cents. Revenue rose 4% from last year to $2.15 billion, above analyst forecasts of $2.09 billion, with sales growth in book publishing, cable network programming, digital real estate services and digital education offsetting a decline in news and information services. "Our digital offerings are expanding in reach and depth, while our global platform has been bolstered in books, online real estate and business information and analysis," said Chief Executive Robert Thomson. The stock has lost 15% so far this year through Wednesday, compared with a 9.5% gain in the S&P 500. MarketWatch, the publisher of this report, is owned by News Corp unit Dow Jones.
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