Dow Jones purchases Reuters’ interest in Factiva, reports third-quarter earnings

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New York—Dow Jones & Co. said Wednesday it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Reuters’ 50% interest in news database Factiva for $160 million. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year.

Along with the announced sale of six of its Ottaway community newspapers—also expected to close by the end of the year—the Factiva deal will reduce Dow Jones’ reliance on print revenue from roughly 70% of total revenue this year to about 60% in 2007, the company said.

Also on Wednesday, Dow Jones reported a 57% boost in third-quarter earnings, largely due to a tax gain. Dow Jones, which publishes The Wall Street Journal, Barron's, Dow Jones Newswires and other publications, earned $16 million, or 19 cents per share, compared with $10.2 million, or 12 cents per share, in the same period last year. Revenue grew 4% to $412.4 million, from $397.0 million in last year’s third quarter. While earnings were up significantly, ad revenue at the flagship Journal fell 5.9%, the first decline after 12 consecutive months of ad gains at the newspaper.

Meanwhile, the Journal announced a two-year, $30 million project to expand color pages for advertisers starting in January 2009. The number of color pages offered advertisers will increase to 168 per week, a 17% hike from the current volume. The move will mark the first color expansion for the Journal's advertisers since 2002.

—Matthew Schwartz

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