News Corp's quarterly revenue falls 7.3 percent, posts loss

(Reuters) - News Corp NWSA.O, owner of the Wall Street Journal and book publisher HarperCollins, reported its fifth drop in quarterly revenue in a row as print ad sales declined and a strong dollar hit income from outside the United States.

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch leaves his home in London, Britain March 4, 2016. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

The 7.3 percent fall in revenue was worse than analysts had expected, but the company’s shares were flat after-hours.

News Corp reported a net loss available to shareholders of $149 million, or 26 cents per share, in the three months ended March 31, compared with a profit of $23 million, or 4 cents per share, a year earlier.

The company was hurt by a one-time charge of $280 million at its News America Marketing business. News Corp said in February it had agreed to pay that amount to resolve claims that it monopolized the market for in-store promotions at more than 50,000 retail stores across the United States.

Excluding items, the company earned 4 cents per share, beating the average analyst estimate of 3 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Total revenue fell to $1.89 billion from $2.04 billion, missing the average estimate of $1.93 billion.

News Corp, which gets more than half of its revenue from outside the United States, said “currency fluctuations” reduced revenue by about $72 million in the quarter.

Revenue in the company’s news and information division fell 9 percent to $1.23 billion.

Apart from the Journal, the division includes the New York Post and Dow Jones Newswires as well as the Times and the Sun in the UK and newspapers in Murdoch’s native Australia.

It also contains the News America Marketing business, a provider of advertising services through publications and in-store promotions.

Revenue in the company’s book publishing business, which includes HarperCollins Publishers, fell 11 percent to $358 million.

However, revenue in News Corp’s fast-growing online real estate services business, which includes website, rose 14 percent to $194 million.

Reporting by Kshitiz Goliya in Bengaluru; Editing by Ted Kerr