News Corp (NWS - Get Report) , owner of The Wall Street Journal, posted lower revenue from a year ago as the publisher, controlled by billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch, continues to struggle with falling advertising sales.
Revenue for the company's fiscal third-quarter was $1.9 billion, even with analyst forecasts, but less than the $2 billion generated in the same period in 2015, News Corp said in a statement on Thursday. Profit in the quarter ended in March was 4 cents a share excluding some items, even with analyst forecasts.
The majority of the revenue drop reflects the negative impact of currency fluctuations and lower advertising sales in the news unit, which also publishes the New York Post and The Australian, News Corp said. Not accounting for currency fluctuations, advertising revenue fell 10% to $816 million from $904 million a year ago, while circulation and subscription sales declined 4%.
Shares of the New York-based publisher were little changed in after-hours trading. News Corp closed on Thursday at $12.17 having fallen 8.9% this year.
Murdoch split News Corp in two in June 2013, creating 21st Century Fox (FOXA) for its television and film business, and leaving its legacy print publications with News Corp. Fox has gained 9.9% in 2016, fueled by the performance of its cable-TV networks, including Fox News.
Like other legacy print publishers, such as New York Times (NYT - Get Report) , News Corp is looking for ways to increase revenue from digital platforms to offset declines in advertising and circulation sales at its print products. Ad spending on newspapers is expected to drop 12% to 14% in 2016 after declining by 13% in 2015, according to Magna Global, the advertising agency.
Sales at its News and Information Services division, the company's largest, fell 9%, to $1.23 billion, while revenue at its book publishing group, led by HarperCollins, declined 11%.
Results at its Digital Real Estate unit, which includes Move Inc., rose 14%, to $194 million. New Corp acquired Move, which includes Realtor.com, for $864 million in cash and assumed $129 million in debt in November. Its chief website, Realtor.com, competes head-to-head with privately-held Zillow Group Inc., owner of Trulia and StreetEasy, for online home-sales information.