NEWS CORPORATION.. (NASDAQ:NWS) Q4 2017 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Aug 11, 2017 • 05:00 pm ET


NEWS CORPORATION.. (NASDAQ:NWS) Q4 2017 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Good day and welcome to the News Corp Fourth Quarter Fiscal 2017 Earnings Call. [Operator Instructions]

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.

Michael Florin

Thank you very much, Kevin. Hello everyone and welcome to News Corp's Fiscal Fourth Quarter 2017 Earnings Call. We issued our earnings press release about an hour ago and it is now posted on our website at On the call today are Robert Thompson, Chief Executive; and Susan Panuccio, Chief Financial Officer. We will open with some prepared remarks and then we will 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 Form 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 reconciliations of such measures can be found in our earnings release.

With that, I will pass it over to Robert Thomson, for some opening comments.

Robert J. Thomson

Thank you, Mike. Fiscal 2017 was an important year for News Corp as we posted tangible improvement in profitability, powered by the fast-growing digital real estate services segment. And we monetized premium content while continuing our commitment to increased operating efficiencies. Since our reincarnation, we have been assertively digital and have led to global debate on the value of content, by word and by deed, at a time of profound change in our markets and in society. That strategy continues to pay-off, as evidenced by our full year operating results and by the broadening debate for which News Corp has been a catalyst.

We are more than sum of our parts. Our acquisitions and digital development have changed the composition of the Company but enhanced the personality and principles that have defined us since the conception of the original News Corporation. Revenues were relatively stable this year at over $8.1 billion, despite luxury print advertising headwinds and an extra week in the prior year. But importantly, total segment EBITDA improved to $885 million compared to $684 million in the prior year, which included litigation settlement charges and gains. Even absent those settlements and other items, adjusted total segment EBITDA expanded 5%.

For the quarter, we took significant impairments as we recognized the challenges facing print and oriented the Company towards the future. Susan will provide you with further details. In the fourth quarter, excluding the impact of the Zillow settlement, digital real estate continued to deliver on its potential, not only as a strong source of growth but also in its rapidly expanding contribution to overall adjusted EBITDA. At both REA and Move, we were pleased to see increased traffic,