News Corporation (NASDAQ:NWSA) Q2 2017 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Feb 09, 2017 • 05:00 pm ET


News Corporation (NASDAQ:NWSA) Q2 2017 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Good day, ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the News Corp's Second Quarter Fiscal 2017 Earnings Conference Call. Today's call is being recorded. Media is allowed to join today's conference in a listen-only basis. At this time, for opening remarks and introductions, I would like to turn the conference over to Mr. Mike Florin, Senior Vice President and Head of Investor Relations. Please go ahead, sir.

Michael Florin

Thank you very much, Catherine. Hello everyone and welcome to News Corp's fiscal second quarter 2017 earnings call. We issued our earnings press release about 45 minutes ago and it's now posted on our website at On the call today, Robert Thomson, Chief Executive and Bedi Singh, Chief Financial Officer. We'll open with some prepared remarks, and then we'll be happy to take questions from the investment community.

This call may include certain forward-looking information with respect to News Corp's business and strategy. Actual results could differ materially from what is said. News Corp's Form 10-K and 10-Q filings identify risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ and contain cautionary statements regarding forward-looking information. Additionally, this call will include certain non-GAAP financial measurements such as total segment EBITDA, adjusted segment EBITDA, and adjusted EPS. The definitions and GAAP to non-GAAP reconciliation of such measures can be found in our earnings release.

With that, I'll pass over to Robert Thomson for some opening comments.

Robert J. Thomson

Thank you, Mike.

In the second quarter, we saw the efficacy of our strategic reinvestment and digital diversification, both were evident in our increased operating profitability in the quarter, when the challenges in the advertising marketplace, which is in the midst of transition, were potent. We achieved 16% EBITDA growth year-over-year driven by strong performance at our Digital Real Estate Services segment and robust revenues at HarperCollins, along with appropriate and ongoing management of the cost base at our new mastheads.

As noted in the press release, reported earnings were significantly impacted by non-cash reduction in the carrying value of Foxtel and a non-cash impairment charge related to our print properties in Australia, while they also benefited from a one-time gain as a result of the cash proceeds from the sale of REA European business. Revenues overall were relatively stable, adjusting for foreign currency fluctuations and that came despite the obvious blustery headwinds in print advertising. As I mentioned, our results this quarter demonstrate the profound importance of becoming more diverse, more digital and more global.

Our core platform has been bolstered by a determined expansion in Digital Real Estate, which is well on the way to becoming the largest contributor to our profitability. This segment posted another strong quarter with a 16% year-over-year revenue increase, improved EBITDA margins and sizable audience gains. We are now the largest digital property business in the world with a strong and growing presence in the US, Australia, India and East Asia. We are more global, as evidenced by the extension of our publishing footprint with the developments of the international platform