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News Corp beats revenue estimates on digital real estate services growth

Published 02/07/2024, 04:18 PM
Updated 02/07/2024, 06:56 PM
© Reuters. Copies of The Wall Street Journal newspaper are displayed for sale at a newsstand inside Moynihan Train Hall, after the announcement that Rupert Murdoch would step down as chairman of News Corp and Fox in favor of his son Lachlan Murdoch, in New York City

By Jaspreet Singh

(Reuters) -Media conglomerate News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) beat Wall Street estimates for second-quarter revenue on Wednesday, driven by growth in business information unit Dow Jones, digital real estate services and a rebound in its book publishing unit.

Shares of the company rose more than 3% in after-market trading.

News Corp, a part of media baron Rupert Murdoch's empire, saw a surge in digital subscriptions for its Dow Jones unit, which includes leading publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Barron's and Market Watch.

It benefited as customers look for one-stop-shop products to consume market analysis and professional insights services.

The media company saw a rebound in its book publishing segment, comprising HarperCollins, as revenue grew 4% to $550 million in the second quarter.

News Corp's revenue in the quarter ended Dec. 31 rose 3% to $2.59 billion, compared with estimates of $2.55 billion, according to Visible Alpha data.

Excluding items, the company earned 26 cents per share, compared with estimates of 21 cents.

REA Group, which operates residential and commercial property websites in Australia, posted record quarterly revenue of $292 million.

"Stronger revenue at publicly traded REA Group ... growth in their business information services at Dow Jones, and improved digital book-publishing sales should make investors smile," said Michael Ashley Schulman, chief investment officer, Running Point Capital.

Revenue at Dow Jones grew 4% to $584 million, boosted by professional information business.

News Corp posted a 5.6% decline in its advertising revenue as marketers kept a tight leash on ad budgets in an uncertain economy.

© Reuters. Copies of The Wall Street Journal newspaper are displayed for sale at a newsstand inside Moynihan Train Hall, after the announcement that Rupert Murdoch would step down as chairman of News Corp and Fox in favor of his son Lachlan Murdoch, in New York City, U.S., September 21, 2023.  REUTERS/Bing Guan/File Photo

"Although we faced some challenges in print advertising, digital advertising grew year-over-year for the first time since the first quarter of fiscal 2023," CEO Robert Thomson said.

Earlier on Wednesday, News Corp's peer Fox Corp reported a 20% fall in advertising revenue, while New York Times missed revenue expectations due to a slowdown in ad sales.

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