News Corp Posts Revenue Growth, Boosted by Dow Jones

From a Wall Street Journal story by Patience Haggin headlined “News Corp Posts Revenue Growth, Boosted by Dow Jones”:

News Corp said revenue increased by 7.3% in the latest quarter, thanks to continued strength in advertising and rapid growth at Wall Street Journal parent Dow Jones & Co.

The New York-based media company, whose holdings include The Wall Street Journal, HarperCollins Publishers and news organizations in the U.K. and Australia, reported $2.67 billion in revenue in the quarter ended June 30, the final quarter of its fiscal year. The company swung to a net profit of $110 million, compared with a loss of $14 million in the year-earlier period, due in part to a higher tax benefit.

“We are confident of our prospects in fiscal 2023,” Chief Executive Robert Thomson said on a call with investors following the results.

Shares of News Corp were up 5.9% in after-hours trading.

News Corp reported faster revenue growth from advertising than from circulation and subscriptions in the quarter, bucking a recent trend among news publishers. U.S. television networks and news organizations have said in recent days that they are feeling the effects of a slowdown in the advertising market.

The News Corp unit that reported the fastest growth was Dow Jones, the publisher of the Journal, Barron’s and MarketWatch, which posted a 26% rise in revenue to $565 million and a 54% increase in segment earnings to $106 million.

Mr. Thomson said the recently completed acquisitions of Oil Price Information Service, an energy and renewables information-services company, and Chemical Market Analytics, previously known as Base Chemicals, were already contributing to profitability.

The Journal averaged nearly 3.1 million digital-only subscriptions in the quarter, up roughly 2% from about 3.04 million in the March quarter. Including print, the Journal averaged 3.75 million subscribers for the period. Across the entire unit, Dow Jones reached an average of 4.9 million subscribers in the quarter.

News Corp’s other news publications, which include the New York Post, the Sun and the Times in the U.K. and many papers in Australia, reported a 5.7% increase in revenue to $629 million.

The company’s digital real estate services division reported a 7.3% gain in revenue to $443 million. News Corp’s subscription-video-services unit, which includes Foxtel, an Australian pay-TV provider, posted a 3.3% decrease in revenue to $524 million.

The company’s book-publishing unit, HarperCollins Publishers, posted a 4.1% revenue increase to $513 million. Mr. Thomson said the acquisition of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt books and media was already proving its virtue, citing its valuable backlist. That catalog includes the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, a category where the company expects big sales in advance of a coming Inc. adaptation inspired by “The Lord of the Rings.” Mr. Thomson also touted the success of the HarperCollins title “Portrait of an Unknown Woman” and the film “Where the Crawdads Sing,” which benefits News Corp through a partnership with Sony Pictures.

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

Patience Haggin is a reporter covering digital advertising in The Wall Street Journal’s media bureau in New York.

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