News Corp fiscal Q4 ’09 earnings are out after the close of the market, essentially in-line with consensus estimates.
Management went into some detail about its digital strategy on the earnings call. Specifically:
- Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch said he believed the company could charge for more than just its successful financial news site wsj.com, which includes entertainment and celebrity news and even its Fox News channel’s website.
- President and COO Chase Carney said that the “TV Everywhere” approach to digital video content, where cable subscribers can view TV content on digital platforms but only after paying their cable bill, had its benefits. However, he said in order to go beyond incremental revenue the company would need a broader stategy with greater growth prospects. He did not go into detail about what that could be though.
The company recorded impairment and operating charges of $680 million at the struggling Fox Interactive unit (the majority of which is MySpace), though it did not provide details in the release. The company continues to have difficulty growing ad revenue at MySpace, which it said was a major driver of an adjusted operating loss of $136 million in its “other” segment” (down $79 million from the prior year’s quarter). Costs associated with the launch of MySpace Music also contributed to the loss.
Below are quick highlights.
- Revenue down 11% to $7.67 billion, in-line with consensus.
- Adjusted operating income down 32% to $948 million, ahead of consensus estimates of $917 million.
- Net loss of $203 million versus $1.1 billion gain in the prior year’s quarter. EPS was $0.19, in-line with consensus estimates of $0.18.
- $680 million impairment charge at Fox Interactive Group.
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