In its latest earning call, media giant News Corp, also the owner of realtor.com®, singled out its stake in housing market investments as the bright spot in its earnings. News Corp’s income from continuing operations reached $143 million in the first quarter compared to $109 million in the prior year.
“News Corp is on track in its transition to a more digital and global future, having successfully integrated several recent acquisitions and built a powerful platform for future growth,” said Robert Thomson, News Corp chief executive, on a recent earnings call. “We are focused on driving sustainable expansion of revenue and profit, and leveraging the potency of our brands, while diligently controlling costs to maximize long-term returns for all investors.”
News Corp’s largest revenue generating segment, news and information services, provided the largest drag on revenue in the first quarter. But its profits were buoyed by a strengthening housing market.
News Corp, owner of such titles as The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s, acquired Move Inc. and realtor.com® in November 2014, firming up its stake in the real estate arena. News Corp also has a majority ownership of the REA Group Ltd., a leading Australian residential property website.
Thomson said during the call “we are particularly pleased with the momentum at realtor.com®, which is significantly ahead of schedule on key metrics.”
“We are now, by some reckoning, the world’s largest digital property listings company, and we see a particularly bright future in the sector, especially in the U.S. where we believe the national real estate market is still returning to health,” he said.
In News Corp’s Digital Real Estate Services sector, revenues in the quarter rose $79 million or by 71 percent compared to the prior year. The jump in revenues was primarily due to the inclusion of the results of Move.
During the first quarter, Move’s revenues climbed 33 percent to $85 million from $64 million the year prior. Average monthly unique use of realtor.com®’s web and mobile sites for the quarter surged 43 percent year-over-year to about 46 million. That growth was mostly attributed to a 64 percent increase in its mobile users.