News Corp, the publisher of the Wall Street Journal, reported quarterly revenue and profit above estimates, helped by higher sales at its book publishing and online real estate businesses.
Shares of the company, in which Saudi businessman Prince Alwaleed owns a reported 7 percent stake, rose 4 percent in extended trading.
Along with from the Journal and the New York Post,
News Corp's properties include the Australian newspaper, book publishers
HarperCollins and Harlequin Enterprises, stakes in Australian pay-TV and
digital real estate businesses, and education company Amplify.
Revenue from book publishing - which accounts for
about 19 percent of total revenue - rose about 24 percent to $406 million in
the first quarter, helped by higher book sales at its HarperCollins unit.
Revenue from digital real estate services also rose
24 percent. Real estate brokers are expected by analysts to spend $14 billion
on online advertising in 2014, of which News Corp's Move unit is expected to
corner about 2 percent.
In September, the company said it will buy Move Inc, the owner of property websites such as realtor.com, for about $950
million to expand its digital business as print advertising dwindles.
Revenue at the news and information unit, which
holds newspaper and online assets, fell about 3 percent, hurt by lower
advertising and subscription sales, but overall company revenue rose 4 percent
to $2.15 billion.
Net income available to the company's shareholders
was $65 million, or 11 cents per share, in the first quarter ended Sept. 30,
compared with a loss of $27 million, or 5 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding items, the company earned 9 cents per
Analysts expected a profit of 3 cents per share on
revenue of $2.09 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Shares of the company closed at $15.30 on the Nasdaq
on Wednesday. They have fallen about 15 percent this year.
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