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News Corp. Q2 Results Tops Street

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News Corp. (NWS,NWSA), the company owned by media baron Rupert Murdoch, Thursday posted a loss for the second quarter that narrowed from a year ago. Both earnings and revenues for the quarter trumped Wall Street estimates.

The New York-based media company reported a second-quarter loss of $84 million or $0.14 per share, narrower than last year's loss of $290 million or $0.50 per share.

Adjusted earnings were $138 million or $0.24 per share, up from $110 million or $0.19 per share last year. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $0.19 per share.

Revenues for the quarter rose 3 percent to $2.18 billion from $2.12 billion last year. Analysts had a consensus revenue estimate of $2.13 billion.

Revenue at key news and information services segment, which includes Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal, was relatively flat at $1.30 billion. Among smaller segments, book publishing rose 1 percent; digital real estate jumped 21 percent, and cable network programming gained 15 percent.

Chief Executive Robert Thomson said: "The robust first half results highlight the virtue of our strategy to become increasingly digital and global, the discipline of our financial management, and our commitment to premium content and high-quality, high-integrity news. First half revenues were up 4% and profitability improved by 27%, including strong results in the second quarter."

Digital revenues increased to 29 percent of News and Information Services segment revenues, compared to 26 percent last year. The company said that the Wall Street Journal's average daily digital subscribers rose to 1.4 million, up from 1.08 million last year.

News Corp separated itself in 2013 after Rupert Murdoch spun off its more profitable entertainment and TV assets into Twenty-First Century Fox (FOX, FOXA).

NWSA closed Thursday's trading at $15.65, down $0.41 or 2.55%, on the Nasdaq. The stock, however, gained $0.12 or 0.77% in the after-hours trade.

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