Updated below to include more online ad detail: A very nice swan song of an earnings report from Dow Jones (NYSE: DJ) today as it prepares for an anticipated December acquisition by News Corp. (NYSE: NWS) Revenues rose nearly 20 percent in the third quarter to $493 million, aided by the acquisition of the other 50 percent of Factiva, with declines in print advertising offset by gains in print circulation and online advertising. Sans Factiva, revenue growth would have been about 1.8 percent. At first glance, the company took an earnings hit but that’s compared to last year’s high earnings per share enhanced by a major tax gain. Excluding that and a charge for merger-related costs, DJ earned $23.1 million or $0.27 per share, up 145 percent from $9.4 million and $0.11 per share in Q306. As AP points out, that’s well ahead of Thomson (NYSE: TOC) Financial’s survey estimate of $0.22.
Online advertising: Disappointing online ad rev growth of 7.8 percent but DJ execs expect to be back in the 20 percent range in Q407 and to close the year at an average in the mid-high teens.
Online subscriptions: WSJ.com paid subscribers grew 25.5 percent year over year, finishing the quarter at 989,000. (That increase also reflects changes in the way subs are counted and the continued success of a favorable combo print offer.) Barron’s Online paid subs were up 61.4 percent; the 113,000 paid subs makes it larger than FT.com’s most recent number of 101,000.
Consumer Media: Group revenues grew 2.5 percent; without acquisitions, growth was less than 1 percent. The bigger story here may be the decrease in losses, to $4.2 million from $18.7 million in Q306.
Update: Some post-call color on online advertising from Gordon Crovitz, president of the Consumer Media group:
“For us, ad growth of 8 percent in Q3 was an anomaly, fortunately during a typically lighter quarter for us. We