Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

News Corp. Revenue, Earnings Miss; MySpace Still Burning Money

A first look at News Corp.’s March quarter earnings: Revenues of $8.26 billion and adjusted earnings of $0.26 per share. Analysts were looking for revenue of $8.42 billion and earnings of $0.27 per share.

The short summary for Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, which owns this Web site: Results from its movie group are down, but that’s because last year’s results included “Avatar”‘s ginormous numbers. The company’s TV group has rebounded, and its cable division continues to throw off cash.

And MySpace continues to drag the company’s numbers down: The “other” group that News Corp. lumps the social network into reported losses of $165 million, “primarily due to increased losses at Myspace, stemming largely from lower advertising and search revenues partially offset by lower operating expenses.”

No Murdoch on the earnings call today, so no live blog (COO Chase Carey is less likely to say interesting things on a minute-by-minute basis). But I’ll drop in where warranted.

For instance: Asked to comment on The Daily’s performance, Carey says it’s a work in progress, which lost $10 million last quarter. Then, in the background, someone–most likely CFO Dave DeVoe–mentions “800,000 downloads.”

Assuming that’s the actual number, that’s the first time anyone from News Corp. has talked about the iPad app’s performance. I’ve asked News Corp. to confirm.

UPDATE: News Corp. officials say that number–which is for downloads, not paid subscriptions–is “in the ball park” but a bit low. Reminder that The Daily launched February 2.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik