(Reuters) – News Corp (O:) on Thursday reported smaller-than-expected drop in quarterly revenue, as higher online subscriptions during the coronavirus crisis helped offset weaker advertising revenue.
The company said subscriptions to The Wall Street Journal grew 15% to nearly 3 million on average, with digital-only users growing 23% to more than 2.2 million on average.
News Corp’s Australian arm has said it was looking to take 76 regional newspapers online only and shutting another 36 altogether.
Total revenue dropped 22% to $1.92 billion in the fourth quarter ended June 30, but beat analysts’ average estimate of $1.85 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Last week, James Murdoch resigned from News Corp’s board, citing disagreements over editorial content at the company founded by his father, conservative media mogul Rupert Murdoch.
News Corp has considered strategic alternatives for its Dublin-based Storyful unit, including a possible sale, The Wall Street Journal reported https://www.wsj.com/articles/news-corp-has-considered-alternatives-for-storyful-unit-including-possible-sale-11596746480?mod=searchresults&page=1&pos=4 on Thursday, citing a person familiar with the matter.
The company said net loss attributable to stockholders was $397 million, or 67 cents per share, due to $292 million of non-cash impairment charges related to fixed assets in the UK and Australia and higher restructuring costs due to the pandemic.
News Corp posted a loss of $51 million, or 9 cents per share, a year earlier.
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