Market Overview

News Corporation Reports First Quarter Results for Fiscal 2020

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FISCAL 2020 FIRST QUARTER KEY FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

  • Revenues were $2.34 billion, a 7% decline compared to $2.52 billion in the prior year, which reflects the negative impact from currency headwinds and the absence of a one-time benefit in the prior year relating to the exit from Sun Bets
  • Net loss was ($211) million compared to net income of $128 million in the prior year.  The loss includes non-cash impairment charges of $273 million
  • Total Segment EBITDA was $221 million compared to $358 million in the prior year
  • Reported EPS were ($0.39) compared to $0.17 in the prior year – Adjusted EPS were $0.04 compared to $0.17 in the prior year
  • Announced in October a multi-year content partnership with Facebook for The Wall Street Journal, Barron's Media Group and the New York Post – expected to drive incremental revenue and Segment EBITDA
  • Expanded relationship with Apple to include News Corp publications in the U.K. and Australia for the launch of Apple News Plus in the respective regions
  • Subscribers to Dow Jones' consumer products grew 9% to approximately 3.3 million reflecting 17% growth in digital-only subscribers at The Wall Street Journal to nearly 1.9 million
  • Revenues at Move, home of realtor.com®, grew 4% driven by 11% growth in real estate revenues compared to the prior year, with significantly larger audience, which rose 18% in the quarter, and improved lead volume

News Corporation ("News Corp" or the "Company") (NASDAQ:NWS, NWSA, ASX: NWS, NWSLV)) today reported financial results for the three months ended September 30, 2019.

Commenting on the results, Chief Executive Robert Thomson said:

"In the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2020, News Corp showed strong growth at Dow Jones and higher revenues at Move, the operator of realtor.com®, but the results were affected by pronounced currency headwinds, a particularly sluggish Australian economy and property market, and comparisons with a prior year in which there was a significant one-time revenue item.

We are pleased to note tangible progress in our efforts to secure payment for our high-quality content from digital platforms, a global cause which News Corp has led for more than a decade. With the dominant platforms under intense regulatory scrutiny, there has been a fundamental shift in the content landscape, highlighted by Facebook's decision to pay a significant premium for our premium journalism. This development establishes a precedent that changes the terms of trade and we expect a positive financial impact at our News and Information Services segment, beginning this fiscal year.

Our efforts to simplify the company continue apace. We are in active discussions about a sale of News America Marketing and also are reviewing the potential sale of Unruly. We are taking steps to reduce our sum of the parts discount, while investing in our digital businesses, to the benefit of all shareholders."

FIRST QUARTER RESULTS

The Company reported fiscal 2020 first quarter total revenues of $2.34 billion, 7% lower compared to $2.52 billion in the prior year period. The decline reflects an $84 million, or 3%, negative impact from foreign currency fluctuations and a $48 million, or 2%, negative impact from the absence of the net benefit related to News UK's exit from the gaming partnership with Tabcorp for Sun Bets received in the prior year. The rest of the decline primarily reflects lower print-related advertising revenues at the News and Information Services segment, lower subscription revenues at Foxtel, continued pressure at REA Group due to challenges in the Australian housing market, and a difficult prior year comparison at the Book Publishing segment. Adjusted Revenues (which exclude the foreign currency impact, acquisitions and divestitures as defined in Note 2) declined 4%.

Net loss for the quarter was ($211) million compared to net income of $128 million in the prior year, reflecting $273 million of non-cash impairment charges, primarily at News America Marketing, lower Total Segment EBITDA, as discussed below, and lower Other, net, partially offset by higher interest income, primarily due to the settlement of cash flow hedges related to debt maturities.

The Company reported first quarter Total Segment EBITDA of $221 million, a 38% decline compared to $358 million in the prior year, reflecting lower revenues, as mentioned above, higher costs associated with Cricket Australia rights and accelerated entertainment programming cost amortization at the Subscription Video Services segment, higher operating costs at the Digital Real Estate Services segment and higher expenses at the Other segment partly related to an increase in equity compensation. Adjusted Total Segment EBITDA (as defined in Note 2) decreased 30%.

Net (loss) income per share attributable to News Corporation stockholders was ($0.39) as compared to $0.17 in the prior year.

Adjusted EPS (as defined in Note 3) were $0.04 compared to $0.17 in the prior year.

SEGMENT REVIEW

 

For the three months ended

 

September 30,

 

2019

2018

% Change

 

(in millions)

Better/

(Worse)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenues:

 

 

 

 

 

 

News and Information Services

$

1,149

$

1,248

(8)

%

Subscription Video Services

 

514

 

565

(9)

%

Book Publishing

 

405

 

418

(3)

%

Digital Real Estate Services

 

272

 

293

(7)

%

Other

 

-

 

-

**

 

Total Revenues

$

2,340

$

2,524

(7)

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Segment EBITDA:

 

 

 

 

 

 

News and Information Services

$

56

$

109

(49)

%

Subscription Video Services

 

81

 

113

(28)

%

Book Publishing

 

49

 

68

(28)

%

Digital Real Estate Services

 

82

 

105

(22)

%

Other

 

(47)

 

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