NEWS CORPORATION.. (NASDAQ:NWS) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Aug 08, 2019 • 05:30 pm ET


NEWS CORPORATION.. (NASDAQ:NWS) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Good day and welcome to the News Corp Fourth Quarter and Full Fiscal Year 2019 Conference Call. Today's conference is being recorded. Media is invited on a listen-only basis. At this time, I would like to turn the conference over to Mike Florin. Please go ahead, sir.

Michael Florin

Thank you very much, Karina. Hello, everyone, and welcome to News Corp's fiscal fourth quarter 2019 earnings call. We issued our earnings press release about an hour ago and it's now posted on our website at On the call today are Robert Thomson Chief Executive, and Susan Panuccio, 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 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'll pass it over to Robert Thomson for some opening comments.

Robert J. Thomson

Thanks, Mike. News Corp completed fiscal year 2019 in a strong position, with revenues increasing 12% and profitability rising 16% against the prior year, reflecting not only the consolidation of Foxtel but also the continued strength and development of core segments of the company, including Book Publishing and Digital Real Estate Services and substantial progress in the digital transformation of our news and information services businesses.

The concerted focus on our primary revenue drivers, including the creation and distribution of premium content was reflected in audience growth across News Corp's mastheads and digital properties. We are also acutely focused on simplifying the structure of the company and making clear the full value of the sum of our parts. To that end, we recently announced a strategic review of News America Marketing, including a potential sale of the business. We have received material interest and the process is progressing rather well.

There is clearly a fundamental shift underway in the content landscape and one consequence, other than intensifying regulatory scrutiny of big digital, is a gradual transference of value to content creators, who, over the past decade, have lost influence in revenue to the digital distributors. With Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch's encouragement News Corp has been advocating vigorously on behalf of journalists, journalism and the protection of intellectual property and that intense, sometimes solitary, advocacy has begun to pay dividends for journalism and importantly, for our shareholders. We are still at a relatively early stage of this tectonic transformation, but there will surely be an ongoing transfer of value to creators in coming years, which should be of great benefit to News Corp and its investors. We have begun partnering with companies such as Apple