The Murdoch clan’s News Corp is being battered by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and measures governments in the US, UK and Australia have adopted to control the virus and limit infections and deaths.
News Corp is undergoing its most radical change since the split of June 2013 as digital subscriptions in newspaper and from the newly merged Foxtel/Fox Sports business becomes the most important revenue and profit driver, supported by the company’s growing digital real estate operations in Australia and the US.
News Corp (NWS) continues to be a variable-speed company, highlighted by a first quarter result which revealed strong growth for the two online real estate businesses countered by FX headwinds and a struggling print division.
UBS updates forecasts to account for the first quarter. First-quarter operating earnings (EBITDA) fell -38% to $221m, well below forecasts. The company highlighted a particularly sluggish Australian economy and property market.
News Corp is reviewing its strategic options for News America Marketing, including a potential sale. Revenue has been under pressure in recent years, declining -6% in FY18. The business provides a range of marketing solutions to advertisers.
Macquarie assesses the outlook for News Corp ahead of the third quarter result on May 9. A weaker Australian housing market, Brexit and the launch of Kayo by Foxtel are likely to have a negative impact.