NEWS CORPORATION.. (NASDAQ:NWS) Q1 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Nov 09, 2017 • 05:30 pm ET


NEWS CORPORATION.. (NASDAQ:NWS) Q1 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Good day and welcome to the News Corp's First Quarter Fiscal 2018 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions]

At this time for opening remarks and introductions, I'd like to turn the conference over to Mr. Mike Florin, Senior Vice President and Head of Investor Relations. Please go ahead, sir.

Mike Florin

Thank you very much Janet. Hello, everyone and welcome to News Corp's fiscal first quarter 2018 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 Thomson, 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. Our new fiscal year is off to a sterling start, with robust results reflecting our steadfast strategy to pursue global and digital expansion, and to create a cogently balanced revenue mix. In the first quarter, revenues and EBITDA increased across every segment of our business compared to the same quarter last year, with particularly strong growth in digital real estate, where we continue to be the world's largest and leading company.

In summary, revenues grew 5% to $2.1 billion, and reported total segment EBITDA grew 92% to reach $249 million, up from $130 million in the prior year. Adjusted total segment EBITDA grew 46%. Reported earnings per share grew to $0.12 versus loss of $0.03 in the prior year. These results truly underscore the increasing strength of digital real estate and how it has positively transformed the character of News Corp, and positioned us for further growth in the future.

We can also see the tangible benefits of our sustained commitment to cost reduction, while we continue to invest in the highest quality content. In August, we and Telstra in Australia announced a non-binding agreement to combine Foxtel and FOX SPORTS, with News Corp owning 65% of the new company. Pending definitive documentation and regulatory approval, we expect to close in the first half of calendar year 2018. Combining Foxtel and FOX SPORTS and providing News Corp with majority control should give us a better opportunity to take advantage of fortified scale to leverage our immensely valuable sports and entertainment rights, as well as a boosting our ability to collect commissioned customer data.

We await regulatory approval and discussion over details continues with our partner, Telstra.