NEWS CORPORATION.. (NASDAQ:NWS) Q4 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Aug 06, 2020 • 05:30 pm ET


NEWS CORPORATION.. (NASDAQ:NWS) Q4 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Good day, everyone. Welcome to the News Corp Fourth Quarter Fiscal 2020 Conference Call. [Operator Instructions]

And at this time, I would like to turn the conference over to Mike Florin, Senior Vice President and Head of Investor Relations. Please go ahead.

Michael Florin

Thank you very much, Nicole. Hello, everyone, and welcome to News Corp's fiscal fourth quarter 2020 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. 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 Thomson

Thank you, Mike. Let me say initially that I trust all on the call and your families are faring well. These are certainly complex times, and there are few who have not been touched in some manner. The coronavirus has irrevocably changed businesses and our businesses in expediting pre-existing digital trends, in challenging established practices and in prompting necessary introspection about work habits and the workplace itself. There has been much agility and adaptation at News Corp.

The vast majority of our employees across the world have been working at home, and the resilience of the company's culture has been a core component in continuity. Without doubt, digitization has accelerated. And without doubt, all of our businesses have been affected and responded with customary ingenuity. I would like to express my sincere thanks to each of our employees and their families for having responded so promptly, so intelligently and so thoughtfully to these testing circumstances.

Evidence of that response was seen in the fourth quarter, when virtually all of our businesses prudently reduced costs, sometimes painfully to ensure that they were robust enough to cope with volatility and disruption. Preserving cash was a priority, and it is worth noting that our cash balance increased in the last quarter by $129 million to over $1.5 billion as of June 30.

Revenue comparisons are obviously made complex by the sale of News America Marketing and Unruly, plus the consequences of COVID. But our adjusted revenue for the quarter declined by 13%. Obviously, the net income and EPS were affected by non-cash impairments, primarily at our UK and Australian businesses. And Susan will be able to provide more details momentarily. However, our adjusted total segment EBITDA declined by a modest 10%. This is