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News Corp pushed to profit by digital thrust

WSJ

SAN FRANCISCO – News Corp on Monday said that it turned a quarterly profit with help from digital efforts that made up for declines in newspaper advertising at Rupert Murdoch’s media giant.

News Corp reported revenue of $2.2 billion in the recently ended quarter, a five percent rise from the same period a year earlier.

Revenue for the full year, however, was down three percent to $8.3 billion. The media company’s fourth fiscal quarter ended at the close of June.

News Corp reported an annual profit of $177 million and a net income of $89 million in the fourth quarter. In the previous year, the company that claims among its properties The Wall Street Journal report an annual loss of $149 million, with red ink in the closing quarter tallying $379 million.

Earnings per share in the recently ended quarter came in at 10 cents per share, short of analysts’ expectations.

“Over the past year, we made clear progress on our primary goals – to become more digital and more global,” News Corp director general Robert Thomson said in the earnings release.

He touted “robust” year-over-year growth in revenue at the company’s Digital Real Estate Services and an “upturn” at book publishing arm HarperCollins.

“While global print ad trends remain challenging at our News and Information Services segment, we are continuing our aggressive growth in digital,” Thomson said.

Revenue from digital offerings accounted for 23 percent of the company’s revenue in the quarter, up from 19 percent in during the same period last year.

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Digital subscriptions to The Wall Street Journal were up 26 percent year-over-year to 948,000, according to News Corp.

Revenue taken in by News Corp newspapers slipped during the full fiscal year, while money taken in by its online services aimed at the real estate industry jumped 32 percent, according to the earnings report.

News Corp shares closed the official trading day at $12.84 and remained unchanged after release of the earnings reported.

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