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Growing digital sales at The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones and other News Corp titles helped the publisher to offset falls in print advertising and edge ahead of expectations.

News Corp. saw a five percent drop in overall revenues for its News and Information division that includes newspaper operations, while its digital real estate revenues rose 18 percent.

Digital revenues increased to 24 percent of News and Information Services segment revenues, compared to 20 percent a year ago.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization fell 21% on the year to $130 million due to weak print advertising and increased programming-rights costs at the company's cable network programming unit.

After the closing bell, the NY mass media company said it generated revenue of $1.97 billion in the quarter, down 2% year-over-year but beating analysts' estimates of $1.96 billion, according to FactSet.

Chief Executive Robert Thomson said, "News Corp made real progress as it continued to drive higher digital revenues and position the Company for long-term growth".

New York Times Co. reported a almost 20 percent drop in print ad revenue in the latest quarter, while USA Today publisher Gannett Co.

First-quarter revenue in its news and information services segment fell 5% year-over-year to $1.22 billion, led by an 11% drop in advertising revenue. Tronc Inc., owner of the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, reported an 11% decline in ad spending in the last quarter.

Revenue from the company's book publishing business fell 4.9 percent to $389 million, compared with the year-ago quarter, which gained from the release of Harper Lee's "Go Set a Watchman". In the final minutes of trading on Monday, shares hit $12.22, a decline of 20 percent in the last 12 months. Get twice-daily updates on what the St. Louis business community is talking about.


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