News Corp. is in the news business. The company consists of iconic newspapers (The Wall Street Journal, New York Post, Australia's Herald Sun, and The Sun and The Times in the UK), information services ( Dow Jones and Factiva), and book publishing ( HarperCollins). News Corp. also owns FOX SPORTS Australia, a stake in Australian real estate web portal REA Group, and a 50% share of Australian pay-TV provider FOXTEL. Owner Rupert Murdoch’s US-based TV and film holdings are now organized into Twenty-First Century Fox, which includes networks FOX and FOX News.
News Corp. divides its operations into five segments –- news and information services, book publishing, cable network programming, digital real estate services, and other. (Its 50% stake in FOXTEL is treated as an equity investment.) The print and digital media publications (news and information services, book publishing) account for the majority of revenues.
The news and information services segment also includes News America Marketing Group (NAMG), a publisher and distributor of coupons in newspapers and on the SmartSource.com website. NAMG’s customers include many of the largest consumer packaged-goods advertisers in the US and Canada. It reaches 74 million households for its freestanding coupon inserts and about 56,000 retail outlets for its in-store advertising.
Murdoch moved his Australian TV operations to News Corp. in order to allow the US TV operations to grow as a stand-alone division.
The company’s subsidiaries are located in Australia, the UK, and the US. In addition, book publisher HarperCollins has a warehouse in Scotland and Dow Jones runs an office in Hong Kong. North America accounted for 47% of sales during fiscal 2016.
Sales and Marketing
The company spent about $607 million on advertising and promotional expenses during fiscal 2016.
The company’s revenue was $8.29 billion for fiscal 2016, which was a decrease of $341 million (or 4%) compared to News Corporation's fiscal 2015 revenue. The decrease was largely attributed to the sale of the company’s digital education business during the first quarter of fiscal 2016.
News Corporation's net income was $179 million in fiscal 2016 compared to a net loss of $147 million it suffered for the prior fiscal period. Rebounding from a net loss to a $170 million profit in fiscal 2016 was primarily attributed to a tax benefit of $54 million compared to a tax expense of $185 million during the previous fiscal year.
Splitting the business into separate publishing and entertainment companies allowed each company to pursue uninhibited industry-specific opportunities, benefit from greater financial and operational flexibility, and provide investors with a more targeted investment opportunity.
Mergers and Acquisitions
During fiscal 2016 News Corporation spent around $800 million on acquisitions. The company acquired Checkout 51 Mobile Apps ULC, Unruly Holdings Limited, DIAKRIT International Limited, iProperty Group Limited, Flatmates.com.au Pty Ltd, Australian Regional Media, and Wireless Group plc.