News Corp Reports Second Quarter Results for Fiscal 2018
Fiscal 2018 Second Quarter Key Financial Highlights
- Revenues of $2.18 billion, a 3% increase compared to $2.12 billion in the prior year
- The Company recorded a charge of $174 million related to the recently enacted U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
- Net loss improved to ($66) million compared to ($219) million in the prior year
- Total Segment EBITDA of $329 million, a 1% increase compared to $325 million in the prior year
- Reported EPS were ($0.14) compared to ($0.50) in the prior year – Adjusted EPS were $0.24 compared to $0.19 in the prior year
- Digital Real Estate Services segment revenues grew 21%, benefiting from continued traffic growth at both REA Group and realtor.com?
- Digital revenues represented 29% of News and Information Services segment revenues, compared to 26% in the prior year
- Strong paid digital subscriber growth at key news mastheads, led by The Wall Street Journal with a 29% increase in its digital-only subscribers to approximately 1.4 million
New York, NY – February 8, 2018 – News Corporation (“News Corp” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: NWS, NWSA; ASX: NWS, NWSLV) today reported financial results for the three months ended December 31, 2017.
Commenting on the results, 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.
Our digital real estate services businesses continue to thrive, with flourishing audiences, strong lead volume, and product enhancements benefiting both consumers and agents. This quarter, the segment posted 21% revenue growth and an increase of 25% in Segment EBITDA.
Clearly there are profound changes taking place in the creation and distribution of digital content. The big tech disruptors are in the midst of a particularly disruptive period, commercially, socially and politically. We appreciate that Google has ended the prejudicial First Click Free and that Facebook is prioritizing provenance, but these are modest steps toward changing a digital environment that is dysfunctional at its core. The bot-infested badlands are hardly a safe space for advertisers, whose brands are being tainted by association with the extreme, the violent and the repulsive.
It is certainly in the interests of our shareholders that there be a reorientation towards quality and integrity, and that readers and platforms are encouraged to pay for professional journalism. Our mastheads are recording digital subscriber and audience growth, with digital accounting for 60 per cent of WSJ subscribers, while The Sun has now exceeded 90 million global monthly average uniques in the second quarter. But the potential returns for our journalism would be far higher in a less chaotic, less debased digital environment.”
Second Quarter Results
The Company reported fiscal 2018 second quarter total revenues of $2.18 billion, a 3% increase compared to $2.12 billion in the prior year period, reflecting continued strong growth in the Digital Real Estate Services segment, a $47 million positive impact from foreign currency fluctuations and the acquisitions of Australian Regional Media (“ARM”) and Australian News Channel Pty Ltd (“ANC”). Growth was partially offset by lower News America Marketing and print advertising revenues at the News and Information Services segment. Adjusted Revenues (which exclude the foreign currency impact and acquisitions and divestitures as defined in Note 1) decreased 1%.
Net loss for the quarter was ($66) million, an improvement of 70%, as compared to ($219) million in the prior year. The improvement was primarily due to the absence of a pre-tax non-cash impairment charge related to fixed-assets of $310 million and a $227 million pre-tax non-cash write-down of the Foxtel investment in the prior year period. The improvement was partially offset by higher tax expense, which reflects the $174 million provisional charge resulting from the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (refer to “Other items – U.S. Tax Reform”).
The Company reported second quarter Total Segment EBITDA of $329 million, a 1% increase compared to $325 million in the prior year, driven by continued growth in the Digital Real Estate Services segment, partially offset by the increase in sports rights costs at the Cable Network Programming segment as a result of the timing of programming amortization. Adjusted Total Segment EBITDA (as defined in Note 1) was flat.
Loss per share available to News Corporation stockholders was ($0.14) as compared to ($0.50) in the prior year.
Adjusted EPS (as defined in Note 3) were $0.24 compared to $0.19 in the prior year.
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About News Corp
News Corp (NASDAQ: NWS, NWSA; ASX: NWS, NWSLV) is a global, diversified media and information services company focused on creating and distributing authoritative and engaging content to consumers throughout the world. The company comprises businesses across a range of media, including: news and information services, book publishing, digital real estate services, and cable network programming and pay-TV distribution in Australia. Headquartered in New York, the activities of News Corp are conducted primarily in the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom. More information: http://www.www.chicfaced.com.
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