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News Corp earnings Q4 2017


(L to R) Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of News Corp and chairman of Fox News, and Lachlan Murdoch, co-chairman of 21st Century Fox, walk together as they arrive on the third day of the annual Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference, July 13, 2017 in Sun Valley, Idaho.

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(L to R) Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of News Corp and chairman of Fox News, and Lachlan Murdoch, co-chairman of 21st Century Fox, walk together as they arrive on the third day of the annual Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference, July 13, 2017 in Sun Valley, Idaho.

News Corp reported quarterly earnings that beat and revenue that missed analysts’ expectations on Thursday.

Here’s how the company did compared to what Wall Street expected:

  • EPS: 11 cents vs. 9 cents, according to Thomson Reuters
  • Revenue: $2.08 billion vs. $2.1 billion, according to Thomson Reuters

Revenue fell 7 percent from the same time last year, while earnings increased to 11 cents per share from 10 cents per share.

Advertising revenue for the company’s news and information services declined 12 percent from the year-ago quarter, which the company attributed to a weak print advertising market. Circulation and subscription revenues fell 9 percent. The company said having one less week this year, negative currency fluctuations and lower print volume contributed to the decrease.

Adjusted for those factors, the company said circulation would have actually increased 1 percent. Dow Jones experienced a 10 percent increase in circulation revenue, led by The Wall Street Journal.

Digital revenue represented 26 percent of news and information services revenue, up from 23 percent at the same time last year. The Wall Street Journal’s daily digital-only subscribers increased to 1.27 million from 948,000 last year.

The company did not specify the number of Wall Street Journal print subscribers, though it did mention lower print volume contributed a decrease in circulation and subscription revenue. However, it said a decrease in full-year earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization was partially offset by lower costs due to restructuring and savings from lower print volume.

Digital real estate services such as realtor.com continued to fuel News Corp’s growth. Revenue increased 10 percent from the year-ago quarter. It was the only category where revenue increased. News and information services, book publishing and cable network programming all decreased from the same time last year.

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp owns names like HarperCollins, Dow Jones and the New York Post. An evolving digital media landscape and declines in advertising revenue have weighed on News Corp’s flagship business news outlet, The Wall Street Journal, as it has on numerous others in the industry.

The Journal announced last month it would continue restructuring the company to try and transform it into a digital-first operation. The news outlet’s editor-in-chief, Gerard Baker, told employees in a memo that newsroom’s staff size of about 1,300 jobs would stay “roughly stable.” The Journal started its reorganization last fall.

Despite struggles at the company’s media outlets, shares of News Corp have risen about 20 percent this year.

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