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Here’s why News Corp shares soared over 6% on the ASX today

Media company News Corp (ASX: NWS) has seen its shares jump more than 6% today, to $18.00, after releasing its first quarter results for 2015.

The company reported an increase in revenues to US$2.15 billion, up from US$2.07 billion in the 3 months to September 2013, while net profit more than doubled from US$27 million to US$65 million.

News Corp’s chief executive Robert Thomson said that the company had seen a “tangible improvement in our newspaper business in Australia and circulation revenue gains at The Times and The Wall Street Journal.”

That’s in contrast to Fairfax Media Holdings Ltd (ASX: FXJ), which says it is still in the process of transforming its newspapers into profitable assets.

It’s difficult to compare News Corp’s Australian newspaper business to Fairfax though, as News Corp doesn’t split out those assets when it reports.

News Corp’s jump in revenues also reflects the integration of Harlequin, the world’s largest romance book publisher. News Corp spent C$455 million to buy Canada’s Harlequin in May this year. The acquisition adds to News Corp’s other publisher, HarperCollins.

News and Information Services remains the driving force behind News Corp, bringing in roughly 62% of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA). The company’s second-largest division is Digital Real Estate Services, primarily the company’s 62% stake in real estate company REA Group Limited (ASX: REA).

But it could be set to become News Corp’s largest division, with the recent joint acquisition of Move, a leading online US real estate business. REA Group is buying a 20% stake in Move, with News Corp holding the remaining 80%. The division is the company’s fastest growing, growing earnings 32% over the previous year.

Foxtel, which is 50% owned by News Corp, reported a small jump in operating income for the September quarter, rising to US$137 million in 2014 compared to US$135 million in 2013.

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King doesn't own shares in any companies mentioned. You can follow Mike on Twitter @TMFKinga

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