News Corp sales rise in real estate, book publishing and media gains

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NWS Corp News 2.70%

announced a 13% increase in quarterly revenue, driven by growth in its digital real estate services, Dow Jones and book publishing divisions.

The New York-based media company, whose holdings include The Wall Street Journal, HarperCollins Publishers and news outlets in the UK and Australia, reported earnings of $235 million, or 40 cents per share, for the December quarter, compared with $231 million, or 39 cents per share, a year earlier. Adjusted earnings, which exclude certain costs, were 44 cents per share.

Revenue rose to $2.72 billion for the second fiscal quarter from $2.41 billion a year earlier. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected revenue of $2.64 billion and adjusted earnings of 28 cents per share.

News Corp shares rose 5.9% to $23.77 in after-hours trading following the results. The stock is up 13% in the past year through Thursday’s close.

The company’s digital real estate services division reported a 35% increase in revenue to $456 million and a 25% increase in segment profit to $178 million. The division includes a majority stake in REA Group ltd.

REA -0.18%

a publicly traded digital real estate company based in Australia, and an 80% stake in Move Inc., a Santa Clara, California-based online real estate company that primarily operates the Realtor.com website.

Dow Jones & Co., publisher of the Journal, Barron’s and MarketWatch, reported a 14% increase in revenue to $508 million and a 32% increase in segment revenue to $144 million. The increase is primarily attributable to higher advertising and subscription revenues and growth in circulation. The acquisition of Investor’s Business Daily brought in $18 million in revenue during the quarter, the company said.

News Corp calculates segment profit as revenue less operating and administrative expenses. Segment profits exclude expenses such as interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, impairment and restructuring charges, and other items.

The Journal averaged more than 2.9 million digital subscribers during the quarter, up 19% from the prior year. Including the print edition, the Journal averaged over 3.6 million subscribers for the period. Dow Jones’ consumer products, which include readers from Barron’s, MarketWatch, Financial News and Investor’s Business Daily, averaged 4.7 million subscribers during the three-month period.

News Corp’s news media segment, which includes the Sun, the New York Post and the Times in the UK, increased revenue 11% to $638 million. The unit made a profit of $111 million, up from $66 million a year earlier.

News Corp said its news media business saw a continued increase in ad revenue as marketers increased spending as the pandemic eased.

The New York Times said Wednesday it surpassed its 10 million subscription goal, adding 375,000 new online subscribers, including 171,000 for its core news offering and 204,000 for lower-cost products such as Wirecutter, its product review site.

The Dow Jones unit of News Corp has decided to increase its subscription products aimed at professionals and investors. In December, the company agreed to acquire IHS Markit’s Basic Chemicals business ltd.

in connection with the merger of this company with S&P Global Inc.

News Corp has agreed to buy IHS Markit’s oil price information service, or OPIS, for $1.15 billion earlier in 2021. The company said Thursday the two deals are expected to close in during the first semester of the calendar year.

News Corp’s book publishing division, which includes HarperCollins, reported revenue of $617 million, up 13% from a year earlier. Segment profit was $107 million, compared with $104 million a year earlier.

Revenue at News Corp’s video subscription unit, which owns the company’s majority stake in Australia’s Foxtel pay-TV service, fell 3% to $498 million. The unit’s segment profit fell 31% to $86 million. The company said it had fewer residential streaming subscribers than in the year-ago period and lower commercial subscription revenue due to pandemic-related restrictions.

Write to Kimberly Chin at [email protected]

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Appeared in the February 4, 2022 print edition as “News Corp Revenue Grows by 13%”.

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