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News Corporation (NWSA)

  • Wed, Aug. 12, 5:39 PM
    | Wed, Aug. 12, 5:39 PM | 1 Comment
  • Wed, Aug. 12, 5:04 PM
    • News Corp. (NWSA) beat profit expectations with its fiscal fourth quarter, but revenues were light of consensus and the company took a sizable writedown on its ballyhooed education business.
    • Adjusted EPS of $0.07 beat a consensus of $0.05, while reported EPS was -$0.65 after a $371M impairment charge taken related to its Amplify education business -- of which News Corp. is beginning a strategic review.
    • Revenues by segment: News and Information Services, $1.4B (down 10%); Book publishing, $390M (up 8%); Digital real estate services, $189M (up 67%); Cable Network Programming, $133M (down 2%); Digital Education, $24M (up 33%).
    • In EBITDA by segment, News and info services carried its weight with $169M, up 29%, while digital education EBITDA was a loss of $24M.
    • The company had invested $1B in a large bet on education. Earlier this summer, Amplify began winding down sales of its custom tablet device after very light uptake.
    • NWSA shares are unchanged in late trading; NWS is up 1.8% after hours.
    • Conference call to come at 6 p.m. ET.
    • Press release
    | Wed, Aug. 12, 5:04 PM | Comment!
  • Tue, Aug. 11, 5:35 PM
  • Mon, Aug. 10, 5:47 PM
    • Effective with its September rebalance, S&P is going to allow some multiple share class lines to be listed separately in its indices, rather than consolidated lines -- meaning that both classes of Comcast (CMCSA, CMCSK) and Twenty-First Century Fox (FOX, FOXA) will be included in the S&P 500 after the close Sept. 18.
    • All multiple-class companies that have listed share class lines will be adjusted for share and float per each line. Multiple share class companies that have an unlisted class line will be adjusted as well.
    • There are four companies in the S&P 100 with two or more publicly listed lines: Google is already represented by its two lines. Comcast and Fox will have their additional lines added. Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) will be an exception due to liquidity concerns, and share count will be consolidated under the B line.
    • With the S&P 500, Discovery Communications (DISCA, DISCK) is also already represented by two lines in the index. News Corp. (NWS, NWSA) will have both its share lines listed. The end result is 500 companies in the index, and 505 trading lines.
    | Mon, Aug. 10, 5:47 PM | Comment!
  • Mon, Aug. 3, 12:54 PM
    • Move Inc. -- the operator of as a unit of News Corp. (NWS -1.5%, NWSA -1.3%) -- has built up its leadership team, naming a set of C-level appointees as well as a leader for business development and strategy.
    • Bryan Charap was named chief financial officer, Tapan Bhat the chief product officer, and Nate Johnson chief marketing officer, and Hahn Lee was named senior VP of business development and strategy.
    • Charap has been with Move for 14 years and was senior VP of finance before being elevated to the new role. Bhat most recently held the chief product officer position at Lithium Technologies.
    • Johnson joins Move from Path, where he was VP of marketing. Lee joins from Pop Media (the CBS/Lions Gate partnership).
    • Digital real estate services revenue grew 67% in News Corp.'s fiscal Q3, to $170M. "News Corp is now a global leader in digital real estate, which we believe will underpin long-term expansion," said CEO Robert Thomson.
    • News Corp. reports its Q4 results on Aug. 12.
    | Mon, Aug. 3, 12:54 PM | Comment!
  • Mon, Jul. 27, 5:19 PM
    • News Corp. (NWS, NWSA) outperformed the broader market today after Macquarie upgraded the stock to Outperform.
    • Tim Nollen and team are expecting a strong rebound from earnings as the company "cycles a number of one-off impacts and Education losses are curtailed.”
    • Overall, Macquarie sees EBITDA gaining 22.9% to $176M in Q4 (consensus expectations are for $177M) and gaining 4.4% to $879M for the full year (somewhat below the consensus of $926.3M).
    • The firm says that News Corp. has "demonstrated a focused approach to M&A by containing larger spend to existing areas of competence (Books and Digital RE)," which it says alleaviates some worries from the separate from (now) Twenty-First Century Fox.
    • The company is set to report quarterly results Aug. 6.
    | Mon, Jul. 27, 5:19 PM | Comment!
  • Mon, Jul. 20, 1:38 PM
    | Mon, Jul. 20, 1:38 PM | Comment!
  • Tue, Jul. 14, 3:43 PM
    • Sales are "explosive" for Harper Lee novel Go Set a Watchman -- essentially a sequel to her first and only novel, To Kill a Mockingbird -- in a boon for HarperCollins (NWS, NWSA).
    • Not a terrible shock, as the release was setting up to be the biggest event in books since the 2007 release of wizard-series finale Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
    • The two Lee novels were Nos. 1 and 2 on Amazon's best-seller list today, as fans snap up both books to compare and contrast characters, and Barnes & Noble's Mary Amicucci forecasts that Go Set a Watchman will be the year's top seller.
    • HarperCollins (one of the strongest-growing divisions at News Corp.) might bring well over $30M in first-year North American revenue from the new book.
    • Previously: News Corp. expectations high for new Harper Lee book (Jul. 09 2015)
    | Tue, Jul. 14, 3:43 PM | Comment!
  • Thu, Jul. 9, 9:04 PM
    • HarperCollins, one of the best-performing units of News Corp. (NWS, NWSA), has a tremendous marketing push set for Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee's first novel in 55 years -- complete with midnight sales next Tuesday.
    • Early demand for the book (from the author of classic To Kill a Mockingbird) is strong. The publisher has printed more than 2M hardcovers, a huge number in an e-book era.
    • HarperCollins has made $188M in profits in the nine months ended March 31, making it the company's strongest-growing segment while others grow at a measured pace or decline (like News & Information) -- but it will need to keep up momentum it stoked with Veronica Roth's Divergent series and Chris Kyle's American Sniper. A hit from Lee could bring $30M-$33M in first-year North American revenue.
    • says the book is its most preordered print book since 2007's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
    | Thu, Jul. 9, 9:04 PM | Comment!
  • Fri, Jun. 26, 2:44 PM
    • News Corp. (NWS, NWSA) is slowing production of custom-made tablets for schools after getting little uptake, Bloomberg reports.
    • The company has invested almost $1B in its education division, Amplify, whose goal was to revamp U.S. education using a digital curriculum, the custom tablets, and testing services.
    • Sources say the division is no longer ordering new tablets though it has stock for existing customers. Amplify says it “continues to receive and consider new contract requests” for the tablets.
    • It also says it has received "several million dollars" of orders for the curriculum in the past 10 weeks.
    • The head of its tablet unit, Stephen Smyth, left in February. For the year ended June 30, 2014, Amplify posted a $193M loss on sales of $88M.
    | Fri, Jun. 26, 2:44 PM | Comment!
  • Thu, Jun. 18, 8:06 PM
    | Thu, Jun. 18, 8:06 PM | Comment!
  • Thu, Jun. 18, 2:00 PM
    • News Corp. (NWS, NWSA) is launching a big reorganization at its Dow Jones unit which will result in jobs cut and bureaus closed at The Wall Street Journal, as well as change in investment to focus on digital media.
    • A few dozen positions are being cut today, but in coming weeks cuts could be well over 100. Along with bureau closures in Europe and Asia, the company will close the New York economics team and the small-business coverage group as well as reducing personal finance coverage.
    • Meanwhile, it intends to hire up in areas like mobile, interactive graphics and data journalism, as part of an effort to refocus what had been some extensive operations.
    • On the move: NWS +1.9%; NWSA +2%.
    • Previously: News Corp. initiates cash dividend, extends poison pill to 2018 (Jun. 18 2015)
    | Thu, Jun. 18, 2:00 PM | Comment!
  • Thu, Jun. 18, 9:29 AM
    • News Corp. (NWS, NWSA) says it's going to pay a semiannual dividend for the first time since the company split from Twenty-First Century Fox two years ago, and is extending its poison pill yet again, now for another three years.
    • The shareholder rights plan was set to expire today. It filed details of the poison pill in an 8-K.
    • The dividend, of $0.10/share, will be initiated in Q1 of its 2016 fiscal year, beginning on June 29, and paid in its second quarter, which ends in December.
    • Last month, the company started buying back its class A shares for the first time since the Fox separation. It had established a $500M repurchase program at the time of the split but only recently has begun to have "intensive discussions on our capital return policy.”
    • Previously: News Corp. up 4.4% after announcing repurchase plan (May. 11 2015)
    • Updated 9:35 a.m.: NWS is up 1.5%; NWSA up 1.6%.
    | Thu, Jun. 18, 9:29 AM | Comment!
  • Thu, Jun. 11, 7:24 PM
    • So what changes at Twenty-First Century Fox (FOX, FOXA) now that Murdoch transition details are beginning to emerge?
    • Not as much as might seem, at first. Rupert Murdoch would still have a heavy hand as co-executive chairman; Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes will continue to report to Rupert as well. Ailes had reportedly clashed with Lachlan Murdoch (the other co-executive chairman-to-be) in the past. He'll likely keep a fair amount of independence as Fox News is a major revenue driver (operating revenue in 2014 of $2.04B).
    • Lachlan and James Murdoch, Fox's next CEO, will approach running the company as a partnership, not unlike how Rupert and co-COO Chase Carey do today: One with eyes on the long term, one more focused on short-term operations.
    • For James, the biggest advantage may be his background in advertising technology. As he's risen through Fox's ranks he's taken an increasing interest and role in digital strategy, and reports say he's a key player in talks about how Fox targets cord-cutters. “He realizes that ad-supported TV is coming to a crossroads," says former News Corp. Chief Digital Officer Jonathan Miller.
    • Michael Wolff says the succession will solve Rupert's "Hollywood problem": The western town has been a rough fit with Rupert since the Peter Chernin days, but the acquittal of Murdoch execs in the London hacking scandal helped mitigate a blemish on James' resume and cleared the way for more Murdoch power at Fox, which had become a more important sphere than the newspaper operations.
    | Thu, Jun. 11, 7:24 PM | 1 Comment
  • Tue, Jun. 2, 5:24 PM
    • After a few months of talks, News Corp. (NWS, NWSA) and Twenty-First Century Fox (FOX, FOXA) have reached a deal to move into a joint headquarters at the World Trade Center site.
    • The two will set up in a new 99-story skyscraper, 2 World Trade Center, to be built at 200 Greenwich St.
    • It's the fourth and last tower planned for the site, and the News Corp./Fox space would include TV studios at the base, along with newsrooms and office space for employees across both companies' businesses.
    • The move will put a button on a transformation of lower Manhattan over the past decade, as information, media and tech companies have set up there, including Condé Nast, The Daily News, Time Inc. and others.
    | Tue, Jun. 2, 5:24 PM | 4 Comments
  • Mon, May 11, 2:41 PM
    • News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWSA) is up 4.4% following news last night that it plans to start buybacks ahead of the schedule that it set when dividing Twenty-First Century Fox from the company in 2013.
    • Meanwhile, after the stock missed earnings expectations on lower ad sales last week, Zacks has downgraded shares to a Sell rating, from Hold.
    • Jefferies this weekend had reiterated an in-line rating for the stock with a price target of $20. Shares are trading currently at $15.81.
    | Mon, May 11, 2:41 PM | Comment!
Company Description
News Corp is a diversified media and information services company focused on creating and distributing authoritative and engaging content to consumers and businesses.