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News Corp. Profit, Revenues Beat Wall Street View

News Corp. (NWS,NWSA), the company owned by media baron Rupert Murdoch, Thursday reported that its fourth quarter earnings trumped Wall Street estimates, as revenues surged nearly 30 percent and surpassed expectations.

The New York-based media company reported a fourth-quarter loss available to News Corp. shareholders of $372 million or $0.64 per share, compared to last year's loss available to News Corp. shareholders of $430 million or $0.74 per share.

Adjusted earnings were $45 million or $0.08 per share, down from $65 million or $0.11 per share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $0.06 per share.

Revenues for the quarter rose to 29 percent to $2.69 billion from $2.08 billion last year. Analysts had a consensus revenue estimate of $2.68 billion.

Revenue growth reflects the inclusion of Foxtel's results, continued strong growth in the Book Publishing and Digital Real Estate Services segments and a $29 million positive impact from foreign currency fluctuations.

Revenue at key news and information services segment, which includes Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal, rose 1 percent from a year ago to $1.29 billion. Among smaller segments, book publishing rose 20 percent; digital real estate jumped 19 percent.

Chief Executive Robert Thomson said, "Fiscal 2018 was a year of operational and transformational success at News Corp, with robust performance across our businesses, and positive and profound changes in the character of our revenue flows, which were more global, digital and subscription-based."

"News Corp is now a more substantial company after the Foxtel transaction, with a much higher percentage of recurring, subscription-based revenues, which should help offset a volatile advertising environment.

In April, News Corp and Telstra combined their respective 50% interests in Foxtel and News Corp's 100% interest in Fox Sports Australia into a new company Foxtel. News Corp now owns a 65% interest in new Foxtel with Telstra owning the remaining 35%.

Digital revenues represented 30% of News and Information Services segment revenues in the quarter, compared to 26% a year ago. The Wall Street Journal average daily digital subscribers in the three months ended June 30, 2018 were 1,590,000, up from 1,270,000 a year ago.

NWS closed Thursday's trading at $15.26, up $0.12 or 0.79% on the NYSE. The stock, however, slipped $0.02 or 0.15% in the after-hours trade.

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