Media conglomerate News Corp beat Wall Street estimates for second-quarter revenue on Wednesday (Feb 7), driven by growth in business information unit Dow Jones, digital real estate services and a rebound in its book publishing unit.

Shares of the company rose more than 3 per cent in after-market trading.

News Corp, a part of media baron Rupert Murdoch’s empire, saw a surge in digital subscriptions for its Dow Jones unit, which includes leading publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s and Market Watch.

It benefited as customers look for one-stop-shop products to consume market analysis and professional insights services.

The media company saw a rebound in its book publishing segment, comprising HarperCollins, as revenue grew 4 per cent to US$550 million in the second quarter.

News Corp’s revenue in the quarter ended Dec 31 rose 3 per cent to US$2.59 billion, compared with estimates of US$2.55 billion, according to Visible Alpha data.

Excluding items, the company earned 26 cents per share, compared with estimates of 21 cents.

REA Group, which operates residential and commercial property websites in Australia, posted record quarterly revenue of US$292 million.

“Stronger revenue at publicly traded REA Group … growth in their business information services at Dow Jones, and improved digital book-publishing sales should make investors smile,” said Michael Ashley Schulman, chief investment officer, Running Point Capital.

Revenue at Dow Jones grew 4 per cent to US$584 million, boosted by professional information business.

News Corp posted a 5.6 per cent decline in its advertising revenue as marketers kept a tight leash on ad budgets in an uncertain economy.

“Although we faced some challenges in print advertising, digital advertising grew year-over-year for the first time since the first quarter of fiscal 2023,” CEO Robert Thomson said.

Earlier on Wednesday, News Corp’s peer Fox Corp reported a 20 per cent fall in advertising revenue, while New York Times missed revenue expectations due to a slowdown in ad sales.


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