News Corp Reports First Quarter Results for Fiscal 2017

Fiscal 2017 First Quarter Key financial Highlights
•Revenues of $1.97 billion compared to $2.01 billion in the prior year
•Digital Real Estate Services segment revenue grew 18% compared to the prior year
•Digital revenues increased to 24% of News and Information Services segment revenues, compared to 20% in the prior year
•Income from continuing operations was nil compared to $143 million in the prior year
•Total Segment EBITDA of $130 million compared to $165 million in the prior year
•EPS were ($0.03) compared to $0.22 in the prior year – Adjusted EPS were ($0.01) compared to $0.05 in the prior year
•Company successfully completed the acquisition of Wireless Group plc

News Corporation (NASDAQ: NWS, NWSA; ASX: NWS, NWSLV) today reported financial results for the three months ended September 30, 2016.

Commenting on the results, 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. While the quarter presented some obvious challenges, particularly in print advertising and the weakness of the Pound Sterling, our revenues were relatively stable, underscoring the strength and scale of our portfolio and shift to digital.

Our Digital Real Estate Services segment posted another strong quarter with an 18% year-over-year revenue increase and is on a clear path to reshape the character of News Corp. At®, we generated solid revenue growth even as we retooled our product offerings. We expect that momentum to accelerate this year and to contribute meaningfully to EBITDA.

Book Publishing extended its gains from last quarter with healthy EBITDA growth despite the prior year comparison with Go Set a Watchman. A strong roster of titles and improvement in religious publishing should augur well for the coming quarters.

At our News and Information Services segment, the print advertising challenges were partially offset by higher digital revenues and disciplined cost initiatives. We continue to push digital, which accounted for 24% of segment revenues this quarter, up from 20% in the prior year. While we invest in high quality, premium content, this will be balanced with ongoing cost initiatives, as is evident from Dow Jones’ planned strategic reduction in spending and its focus on growing digital subscribers.

Despite ongoing political and economic uncertainty, particularly in U.S. and U.K. markets, we remain focused on expanding revenues and driving higher long-term value for investors.”

The Company reported fiscal 2017 first quarter total revenues of $1.97 billion, compared to $2.01 billion in the prior year period. Reported revenues reflect a negative impact from foreign currency fluctuations of $36 million. Adjusted Revenues for both periods (which exclude the foreign currency impact and acquisitions as defined in Note 1) were equivalent to reported revenues, as growth in the Digital Real Estate Services segment was more than offset by lower advertising revenues at the News and Information Services segment.

Income from continuing operations for the quarter was nil as compared to $143 million in the prior year. The decrease was primarily due to the absence of a $106 million tax benefit related to the release of valuation allowances resulting from the disposal of Amplify in fiscal 2016, lower Total Segment EBITDA, as discussed below, and lower equity earnings of affiliates, primarily driven by the announced closure of Foxtel’s Presto service in January 2017.

The Company reported first quarter Total Segment EBITDA of $130 million compared to $165 million in the prior year. Adjusted Total Segment EBITDA (as defined in Note 1) was 11% lower compared to the prior year, primarily due to the weak print advertising market and increased programming rights costs at the Cable Network Programming segment, partially offset by continued growth in the Digital Real Estate Services and Book Publishing segments.

(Loss) income per share from continuing operations available to News Corporation stockholders was ($0.03) as compared to $0.22 in the prior year.
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