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News Corp. Q3 Earnings In Line With Street - Update

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News Corp. (NWS,NWSA), the company owned by media baron Rupert Murdoch, Thursday reported an earnings for the third quarter that came in line with Wall Street estimates, while revenues trounced expectations.

The New York-based media company reported a third-quarter loss of $1.13 billion or $1.94 per share, compare to last year's loss of $5 million or $0.01 per share.

The loss was primarily driven by non-cash write-downs of $998 million related to Foxtel and FOX SPORTS Australia, as well as a non-cash impairment charge of $165 million at News America Marketing.

Adjusted earnings were $34 million or $0.06 per share, down from $39 million or $0.07 per share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $0.06 per share.

Revenues for the quarter rose to $2.09 billion from $1.98 billion last year. Analysts had a consensus revenue estimate of $2.00 billion.

Revenue at key news and information services segment, which includes Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal, rose 2 percent from a year ago to $1.29 billion. Among smaller segments, book publishing rose 6 percent; digital real estate jumped 27 percent, and cable network programming gained 6 percent.

Chief Executive Robert Thomson said, "We finished the fiscal third quarter with strong revenue growth, led by outstanding performances at our Digital Real Estate Services and Book Publishing segments. Revenues this quarter improved by 6 percent and are up 4 percent for the first nine months of this fiscal year."

Digital revenues increased to 29 percent of News and Information Services segment revenues, compared to 24 percent last year. The company said that the Wall Street Journal's average daily digital subscribers rose to 1.49 million, up from 1.20 million last year.

NWS closed Thursday's trading at $16.67, up $0.02 or 0.15% on the NYSE. The stock, however, slipped $0.02 or 0.15% in the after-hours trade.

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