What To Expect From News Corp's Fiscal 2019

12 August, 2018, 04:45 | Author: Regina Silva
  • Strong growth in the number of paid digital subscribers was recorded

The net loss for News Corporation over the quarter was $US355 million, compared to $US424 million in the same quarter in 2017, predominantly due to a $US337 million impact from combining Fox Sports and Foxtel.

Our $17 price estimate for News Corp's stock is nearly 10% ahead of the current market price.

The company also "focused on strengthening" the Digital Real Estate Services platform "by expanding into relevant adjacencies, investing in new businesses and products and growing our core audiences", she told analysts, noting that segment was the company's "biggest EBITDA contributor and annual revenue" in it now "exceed well over $1 billion and have more than tripled".

Telstra and News Corp merged Fox Sports, formerly 100 per cent News Corp owned, and joint-venture Foxtel in April.

Digital revenues represented 30% of News and Information Services segment revenues in the quarter, compared to 26% a year ago.

In an investor call regarding News Corp's full-year results, talk of any mergers or acquisitions, to perhaps combat the looming mega merger of Nine and Fairfax, was slim.

Furthermore, News Corp's expenses before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation rose 21 per cent to US$1.07 billion.

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The company reported Foxtel's subscribers at the end of the year were approximately 2.8 million, higher due to the launch of Foxtel Now.

Pro forma Segment EBITDA for fiscal 2018 decreased $154 million, or 22%, compared with the prior year, primarily due to $90 million of higher sports programming costs, mainly related to the Australian Football League and National Rugby League rights, as well as lower subscription revenues despite rising subscriber numbers. Since then, News Corp. has relied on its digital real-estate business for growth, while trying to reduce its exposure to newspaper advertising by adding more digital subscribers.

"Fiscal 2018 was a year of operational and transformational success at News Corp", said CEO Robert Thomson.

The stronger results that News Corp. reported for the fourth quarter (ended June 30) were driven by contributions from Australian pay TV company Foxtel, which it bought earlier this year, and continued growth in its digital business, according to company executives.

"HarperCollins' success underscores the importance of intelligent editors and great writers in creating premium content. Algorithms are, as yet, unable to write empathetic, compelling books".

News Corp, which is chaired by Rupert Murdoch, is the ultimate owner of The Times, The Sunday Times and The Sun, as well as The Wall Street Journal and the publisher Harper Collins.

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