News Corp's revenue falls for third straight quarter

Thu Nov 5, 2015 6:27pm EST
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By Devika Krishna Kumar

(Reuters) - News Corp, owner of the Wall Street Journal, reported its third straight quarter of revenue decline, hurt by a strong dollar and lower print ad sales, mainly in Australia.

The company, controlled by Rupert Murdoch, said on Thursday revenue from its news and information business fell about 11 percent to $1.29 billion in the first quarter.

The business, which accounted for nearly two-thirds of its total revenue, has been struggling for the past few years as readers shift to digital media and newspapers' advertising revenue slides.

Still, print and digital advertising revenue at Dow Jones, whose flagship publication is the Wall Street Journal, grew in the first quarter.

"We really think it was a good quarter, in line with what they had guided ... knowing that they are in this transformative period," said Tony Scherrer, director of research at Smead Capital Management, which owns about 3.9 million shares of News Corp.

The company - whose revenue is largely dependent on its newspaper holdings in the United States, Australia and the UK - has been diversifying its business to lower its dependence on print.

Revenue at the company's digital real estate services business, which includes U.S. website and a stake in Australian REA Group, jumped 70.5 percent to $191 million.

The net income available to the company's stockholders rose to $175 million, or 30 cents per share, in the quarter ended Sept. 30 from $65 million, or 11 cents per share, a year earlier.   Continued...

Passers-by walk near the News Corporation building in New York June 28, 2012.  REUTERS/Keith Bedford