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News Corp. results fall short of analysts’ expectations

NEW YORK — News Corp. said Monday that it had an unexpected drop in revenue in the most-recent quarter, as revenue from Australian newspapers plunged. The results were short of analysts’ forecasts.

Net income in the fiscal first quarter, which ended in September, was $27 million, or 5 cents per share. That compares with a loss of $92 million, or 16 cents per share, a year ago.

Adjusted to exclude costs related to a U.K. hacking probe and other items, earnings came to $17 million, or 3 cents per share, which was below the 5 cents expected by analysts polled by FactSet.

Revenue fell 3 percent to $2.07 billion, also below the $2.18 billion analysts were looking for.

Shares fell 37 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $17.05 in extended trading after the results came out.

Revenue from news and information services fell 10 percent to $1.5 billion. The company attributed much of that decline to a 22 percent drop in revenue from Australian newspapers, which include The Australian and The Daily Telegraph.

For the division overall, circulation and subscription revenue fell 6 percent, while ad revenue fell 12 percent. Unfavorable currency-exchange rates exacerbated the decline, as revenue in Australian dollars translated to fewer U.S. dollars.

The company said U.S. ad revenue at its flagship newspaper, The Wall Street Journal, was unchanged, although subscription and circulation revenue improved.

Book publishing revenue from its HarperCollins business fell 7 percent to $328 million. An increase in e-book sales was more than offset by the divestiture of a live events business, softness in Christian titles and a decision to stop distributing books on behalf of other companies.

Pay TV programming revenue came to $132 million, as businesses like Fox Sports Australia were added to the company as part of its spin-off from Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. in June.

Digital real estate services revenue rose 11 percent to $90 million.