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NWS > SEC Filings for NWS > Form 10-Q on 9-May-2014All Recent SEC Filings

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Form 10-Q for NEWS CORP


9-May-2014

Quarterly Report


ITEM 2. MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

This document, including the following discussion and analysis, contains statements that constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of
Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the "Exchange Act"), and Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. All statements that are not statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements. The words "expect," "estimate," "anticipate," "predict," "believe" and similar expressions and variations thereof are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements appear in a number of places in this discussion and analysis and include statements regarding the intent, belief or current expectations of the Company, its directors or its officers with respect to, among other things, trends affecting the Company's financial condition or results of operations and the outcome of contingencies such as litigation and investigations. Readers are cautioned that any forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties. More information regarding these risks, uncertainties and other important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements is set forth under the heading "Risk Factors" in Part II, Item 1A in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q.The Company does not ordinarily make projections of its future operating results and undertakes no obligation (and expressly disclaims any obligation) to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law. Readers should carefully review this document and the other documents filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"). This section should be read together with the unaudited Consolidated and Combined Financial Statements of News Corporation and related notes set forth elsewhere herein and News Corporation's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013 as filed with the SEC on September 20, 2013 (the "2013 Form 10-K").

INTRODUCTION

News Corporation (together with its subsidiaries, "News Corporation" or the "Company") is a global diversified media and information services company comprised of businesses across a range of media, including: news and information services, cable network programming in Australia, digital real estate services, book publishing, digital education and pay-TV distribution in Australia.

The Separation and Distribution

On June 28, 2013 (the "Distribution Date"), the Company completed the separation of its businesses (the "Separation") from Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. ("21st Century Fox"). As of the effective time of the Separation, all of the outstanding shares of the Company were distributed to 21st Century Fox stockholders based on a distribution ratio of one share of Company Class A or Class B Common Stock for every four shares of 21st Century Fox Class A or Class B Common Stock, respectively, held of record as of June 21, 2013 (the "Record Date"). Following the Separation, the Company's Class A and Class B Common Stock began trading independently on The NASDAQ Global Select Market ("NASDAQ"), and CHESS Depository Interests representing the Company's Class A and Class B Common Stock began trading on the Australian Securities Exchange ("ASX"). In connection with the Separation, the Company entered into the Separation and Distribution Agreement (the "Separation and Distribution Agreement") and certain other related agreements which govern the Company's relationship with 21st Century Fox following the Separation. (See Note 9 to the unaudited Consolidated and Combined Financial Statements of News Corporation for further information).

Subsequent to the Distribution Date, the Company's financial statements as of June 30, 2013 and as of and for the three and nine months ended March 31, 2014 are presented on a consolidated basis, as the Company became a separate consolidated group on June 28, 2013. The Company's consolidated statements of operations for the three and nine months ended March 31, 2014 reflect the Company's operations as a stand-alone company. The Company's consolidated balance sheets as of June 30, 2013 and March 31, 2014 consist of the Company's consolidated balances, subsequent to the Separation.


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Prior to the Separation, the Company's combined financial statements were prepared on a stand-alone basis derived from the consolidated financial statements and accounting records of 21st Century Fox. The Company's financial statements for the three and nine months ended March 31, 2013 were prepared on a combined basis and presented as carve-out financial statements, as the Company was not a separate consolidated group prior to the Distribution Date. These statements reflect the combined historical results of operations and cash flows of 21st Century Fox's publishing businesses, its education division and other Australian assets.

Prior to the Separation, the Company's combined statements of operations included allocations of general corporate expenses for certain support functions that were provided on a centralized basis by 21st Century Fox and not recorded at the business unit level, such as expenses related to finance, human resources, information technology, facilities, and legal, among others. These expenses were allocated to the Company on the basis of direct usage when identifiable, with the remainder allocated on a pro rata basis of combined revenues, operating income, headcount or other measures of the Company. Management believes the assumptions underlying the combined financial statements, including the assumptions regarding allocating general corporate expenses from 21st Century Fox, are reasonable. Nevertheless, the combined financial statements may not include all of the actual expenses that would have been incurred by the Company and may not reflect the Company's combined results of operations and cash flows had it been a stand-alone company during the periods presented. Actual costs that would have been incurred if the Company had been a stand-alone company would depend on multiple factors, including organizational structure and strategic decisions made in various areas, including information technology and infrastructure.

The consolidated and combined financial statements will be referred to as the "Financial Statements" herein. The consolidated and combined statements of operations will be referred to as the "Statements of Operations" herein. The consolidated balance sheets will be referred to as the "Balance Sheets" herein.

The Financial Statements have been prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States of America ("GAAP").

For purposes of the Company's Financial Statements for periods prior to the Separation, income tax expense was recorded as if the Company filed tax returns on a stand-alone basis separate from 21st Century Fox. This separate return methodology applies the accounting guidance for income taxes to the stand-alone financial statements as if the Company was a stand-alone enterprise for the periods prior to the Distribution Date. Therefore, cash tax payments for periods prior to the Separation may not be reflective of the Company's actual tax balances. Prior to the Separation, the Company's operating results were included in 21st Century Fox's consolidated U.S. federal and state income tax returns. The calculation of the Company's income taxes involves considerable judgment and the use of both estimates and allocations.

Management's discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations is intended to help provide an understanding of News Corporation's financial condition, changes in financial condition and results of operations. This discussion is organized as follows:

Overview of the Company's Business-This section provides a general description of the Company's businesses, as well as developments that have occurred to date during fiscal 2014 that the Company believes are important in understanding its results of operations and financial condition or to disclose known trends.

Results of Operations-This section provides an analysis of the Company's results of operations for the three and nine months ended March 31, 2014 and 2013. This analysis is presented on both a consolidated or combined basis and a segment basis. In addition, a brief description is provided of significant transactions and events that have an impact on the comparability of the results being analyzed.

Liquidity and Capital Resources-This section provides an analysis of the Company's cash flows for the nine months ended March 31, 2014 and 2013 as well as a discussion of the Company's financial arrangements and outstanding commitments, both firm and contingent, that existed as of March 31, 2014.


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OVERVIEW OF THE COMPANY'S BUSINESSES

The Company manages and reports its businesses in the following five segments:

News and Information Services-The News and Information Services segment includes the global product offerings of The Wall Street Journal and Barron's publications, The Wall Street Journal Digital Network ("WSJDN"), and the Company's suite of information services, including DJX, Dow Jones Newswires and Factiva. In addition to WSJ.com and Barrons.com, WSJDN includes MarketWatch, WSJ.D and related services.

The Company also owns, among other publications, The Australian, The Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun and The Courier Mail in Australia, The Times, The Sunday Times, The Sun and The Sun on Sunday in the U.K. and the New York Post in the U.S. This segment also includes News America Marketing ("NAM"), a leading provider of free-standing coupon inserts, in-store marketing products and digital marketing solutions. NAM's customers include many of the largest consumer packaged goods advertisers in the U.S. and Canada.

Cable Network Programming-The Cable Network Programming segment consists of FOX SPORTS Australia, the leading sports programming provider in Australia with seven standard definition television channels, high definition versions of five of these channels, an interactive viewing application, several IPTV channels and broadcast rights to live sporting events in Australia including: National Rugby League, the domestic football league, English Premier League and international cricket. Prior to the November 2012 acquisition of the portion of FOX SPORTS Australia that it did not own, the Company accounted for its investment in FOX SPORTS Australia under the equity method of accounting. The Company now owns 100% of FOX SPORTS Australia and its results are included within this segment.

Digital Real Estate Services-The Company owns 61.6% of REA Group Limited ("REA Group"), a publicly traded company listed on the ASX (ASX: REA) that is a leading digital advertising business specializing in real estate services. REA Group operates Australia's largest residential property website, realestate.com.au, as well as Australia's leading commercial property website, realcommercial.com.au. REA Group also operates a market-leading Italian property site, casa.it, and other property sites and apps in Europe and Hong Kong.

Book Publishing-The Book Publishing segment consists of HarperCollins which is one of the largest English-language consumer publishers in the world, with particular strengths in general fiction, nonfiction, children's and religious publishing, and an industry leader in digital publishing. HarperCollins includes over 60 branded publishing imprints, including Avon, Harper, HarperCollins Children's Publishers, William Morrow and Christian publishers Zondervan and Thomas Nelson, and publishes works by well-known authors such as J.R.R. Tolkien, Paulo Coelho, Rick Warren and Agatha Christie and popular titles such as The Hobbit, Goodnight Moon and To Kill a Mockingbird.

Other-The Other segment consists primarily of Amplify, the corporate Strategy and Creative Group, general corporate overhead expenses and costs related to the U.K. Newspaper Matters. Amplify focuses on three areas of business: data and analytics; digital curriculum; and distribution platforms for education. The Company's corporate Strategy and Creative Group was formed to identify new products and services across its businesses to increase revenues and profitability and to target and assess potential acquisitions and investments.

News and Information Services

Revenue at the News and Information Services segment is derived from the sale of advertising space, circulation and subscriptions, as well as licensing. Adverse changes in general market conditions for advertising may continue to affect revenues. Circulation and subscription revenues can be greatly affected by changes in the prices of the Company's and/or competitors' products, as well as by promotional activities.

Operating expenses include costs related to paper, production, distribution, editorial and commissions. Selling, general and administrative expenses include promotional expenses, salaries, employee benefits, rent and other routine overhead.


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The News and Information Services segment's advertising volume, circulation and the price of paper are the key variables whose fluctuations can have a material effect on the Company's operating results and cash flow. The Company has to anticipate the level of advertising volume, circulation and paper prices in managing its businesses to maximize operating profit during expanding and contracting economic cycles. The Company continues to be exposed to risks associated with paper used for printing. Paper is a basic commodity and its price is sensitive to the balance of supply and demand. The Company's expenses are affected by the cyclical increases and decreases in the price of paper. The News and Information Services segment's products compete for readership and advertising with local and national competitors and also compete with other media alternatives in their respective markets. Competition for circulation and subscriptions is based on the content of the products provided, pricing and, from time to time, various promotions. The success of these products also depends upon advertisers' judgments as to the most effective use of their advertising budgets. Competition for advertising is based upon the reach of the products, advertising rates and advertiser results. Such judgments are based on factors such as cost, availability of alternative media, distribution and quality of readership demographics.

Like other newspaper groups, the Company faces challenges to its traditional print business model from new media formats and shifting consumer preferences. The Company is also exposed to the impact of long-term structural movements in advertising spending, in particular, the move in classified advertising from print to digital. These new media formats could impact the Company's overall performance, positively or negatively.

As a multi-platform news provider, the Company recognizes the importance of maximizing revenues from new media, both in terms of paid-for content and in new advertising models, and continues to invest in its digital products. The development of technologies such as smartphones, tablets and similar devices and their related applications provides continued opportunities for the Company to make its journalism available to a new audience of readers, introduce new or different pricing schemes, develop its products to continue to attract advertisers and/or affect the relationship between publisher and consumer. The Company continues to develop and implement strategies to exploit its content in new media channels, including the implementation of digital subscriptions.

Cable Network Programming

The Cable Network Programming segment consists of FOX SPORTS Australia which offers the following channels: FOX SPORTS 1, FOX SPORTS 2, FOX SPORTS 3, FOX FOOTY, FOX SPORTS NEWS, FUEL TV and SPEED. Revenue is derived from monthly affiliate fees received from cable and satellite television systems and other distribution systems based on the number of subscribers.

FOX SPORTS Australia competes primarily with ESPN, the FTA channels and certain telecommunications companies in Australia.

The most significant operating expenses of the Cable Network Programming segment are the acquisition and production expenses related to programming and the expenses related to operating the technical facilities of the broadcast operations. Other expenses include marketing and promotional expenses related to improving the market visibility and awareness of the channels and their programming. Additional expenses include salaries, employee benefits, rent and other routine overhead expenses.

Digital Real Estate Services

The Digital Real Estate Services segment sells online advertising services on its residential real estate and commercial property sites. Significant expenses associated with these sites include development costs, advertising and promotional expenses, salaries, employee benefits and other routine overhead expenses.

Consumers are increasingly turning to the Internet and mobile devices for real estate information. The Digital Real Estate Services segment's success depends on its continued innovation to provide products and services that make its websites and mobile applications useful for consumers and real estate and mortgage professionals and attractive to its advertisers.

Book Publishing

The Book Publishing segment derives revenues from the sale of general fiction, nonfiction, children's and religious books in the U.S. and internationally. The revenues and operating results of the Book Publishing segment are significantly affected by the timing of releases and the number of its books in the marketplace. The book publishing marketplace is subject to increased periods of demand in the summer months and during the end-of-year holiday season. This marketplace continues to change due to technical innovations, electronic book devices and other factors. Each book is a separate and distinct product, and its financial success depends upon many factors, including public acceptance.


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Major new title releases represent a significant portion of the Book Publishing segment's sales throughout the fiscal year. Print-based consumer books are generally sold on a fully returnable basis, resulting in the return of unsold books. In the domestic and international markets, the Book Publishing segment is subject to global trends and local economic conditions.

Operating expenses for the Book Publishing segment include costs related to paper, printing, authors' royalties, editorial, promotional, art and design expenses. Selling, general and administrative expenses include salaries, employee benefits, rent and other routine overhead.

The book publishing business has been affected in recent years by new electronic distribution methods and models and the Company expects that electronic books ("e-books") will represent an increasing portion of book publishing revenues in coming years.

Other

The Other segment primarily consists of Amplify, the corporate Strategy and Creative Group, general corporate overhead expenses and costs related to the U.K. Newspaper Matters. Amplify, the Company's digital education business concentrating on the K-12 learning market, is focused on transforming teaching and learning by creating and scaling digital innovations in three areas:

Amplify Insight, Amplify's data and analytics division, which formerly operated under the brand Wireless Generation, Inc. ("Wireless Generation"), commenced operations in 2000 and was acquired in fiscal 2011. Amplify Insight provides powerful assessment products and services to support staff and technology development, including student assessment tools and analytic technologies, intervention programs, enterprise education information systems, and professional development and consulting services.

Amplify Learning, Amplify's nascent digital curriculum business, is developing new content in English Language Arts, Science and Math, including software that will combine interactive, game-like experiences with rigorous analytics, all driven by adaptive technologies that respond to individual students' needs as they evolve. Amplify Learning's curriculum will incorporate the new Common Core State Standards that are expected to be implemented in 44 states beginning with the 2014-2015 school year.

Amplify Access, Amplify's distribution platform business, is developing new distribution and delivery mechanisms. This consists of an open tablet-based distribution platform that will offer software features to facilitate classroom instructions, curated curricular and extracurricular content, sophisticated analytic capabilities, and a tablet, through a subscription-based bundle optimized for the K-12 market to facilitate personalized instruction and enable anywhere, anytime learning.

Significant expenses associated with the Company's digital education business include salaries, employee benefits and other routine overhead. The Company's corporate Strategy and Creative group was formed to identify new products and services across the Company's businesses to increase revenues and profitability and to target and assess potential acquisitions and investments.

Other Business Developments

In September 2013, the Company sold the Dow Jones Local Media Group, which operated eight daily and 15 weekly newspapers in seven states.

In December 2013, the Company acquired Storyful Limited ("Storyful"), a social news agency, for approximately $25 million, of which $19 million was in cash, with the remainder primarily related to an earn-out that is contingent upon the achievement of certain performance objectives. The Storyful acquisition complements the Company's existing video capabilities, including the creation and distribution of original and on-demand programming such as WSJ Live and BallBall.


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In December 2013, the Company also entered into new multi-year supply agreements for newsprint and ink, which are expected to yield cost savings over the lives of the agreements. Under the agreements, the Company expects that the new contracts will yield an EBITDA improvement from cost savings of approximately $30 million over the second half of fiscal 2014 and in fiscal 2015, combined.

In February 2014, SEEKAsia Limited ("SEEK Asia") agreed to purchase the online employment businesses of JobStreet Corporation Berhad ("JobStreet"), which will be combined with JobsDB, Inc., SEEK Asia's existing online employment business. The transaction, which is subject to certain conditions, including regulatory approval and JobStreet shareholder approval, will be funded primarily through additional contributions by SEEK Asia shareholders. The Company's share of the funding contribution is expected to be approximately $50 million and is subject to the closing of the JobStreet acquisition. The Company will continue to hold its 12.1% investment in SEEK Asia following the transaction.

In April 2014, The Rubicon Project ("Rubicon"), in which the Company owned approximately 5.6 million shares as of March 31, 2014, completed an initial public offering of its common stock. The Company sold approximately 850 thousand shares as part of the public offering which resulted in a gain on sale of $6 million and reduced the Company's ownership percentage to 13.7%. Prior to the public offering, the Company's investment in Rubicon was recorded in the Balance Sheets at cost. As a result of the offering, the Company's remaining investment in Rubicon will be designated as an available-for-sale security as of April 2014, and carried at fair value. Unrealized gains and losses from available-for-sale securities are reported as a component of accumulated other comprehensive income, net of tax, in stockholders' equity. While the Rubicon investment is classified as an available-for-sale security, the Company is contractually restricted from selling these shares for at least six months from the date of the public offering.

On May 1, 2014, the Company agreed to acquire Harlequin Enterprises Limited ("Harlequin") from Torstar Corporation for a purchase price of C$455 million (approximately US$415 million). Harlequin is a leading publisher of women's fiction and this acquisition will extend HarperCollins' global platform, particularly in Europe and Asia Pacific. Harlequin will become a division of HarperCollins Publishers and its results will be included within the Company's Book Publishing segment. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals and approval of Torstar's shareholders. The closing is anticipated by the end of the third quarter of calendar year 2014.


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RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

Results of Operations-For the three and nine months ended March 31, 2014 versus the three and nine months ended March 31, 2013

The following table sets forth the Company's operating results for the three and nine months ended March 31, 2014 as compared to the three and nine months ended March 31, 2013.

                                                 For the three months ended March 31,                        For the nine months ended March 31,
                                           2014             2013        Change       % Change          2014           2013         Change       % Change
                                                                                     (in millions, except %)
Revenues:
Advertising                             $      952        $  1,046      $   (94 )           (9 )%    $   2,990      $  3,250      $   (260 )           (8 )%
Circulation and Subscription                   665             703          (38 )           (5 )%        2,005         1,965            40              2 %
Consumer                                       342             297           45             15 %         1,030           969            61              6 %
Other                                          119             134          (15 )          (11 )%          363           450           (87 )          (19 )%

Total Revenues                               2,078           2,180         (102 )           (5 )%        6,388         6,634          (246 )           (4 )%
Operating expenses                          (1,259 )        (1,354 )         95             (7 )%       (3,828 )      (4,040 )         212             (5 )%
Selling, general and administrative           (644 )          (657 )         13             (2 )%       (1,917 )      (2,036 )         119             (6 )%
Depreciation and amortization                 (142 )          (144 )          2             (1 )%         (421 )        (398 )         (23 )            6 %
Impairment and restructuring charges           (10 )           (54 )         44            (81 )%          (73 )        (231 )         158            (68 )%
. . .
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