News Corp: Australian Assets Create Upside Catalyst
Alpha Gen Capital
Alpha Gen Capital
The 'New' News Corp.: Unwanted And Very Undervalued
Eliot Murray • 16 Comments
Eliot Murray • 16 Comments
Sep. 16, 2015, 11:13 AM
- News Corp. (NWS, NWSA) is buying Unruly Holdings, a social-video ad platform, for about $90M, along with a possible $86M in future target-based consideration.
- Unruly, founded in 2006, uses historical sharing behavior to predict the "potential for video ads to go viral across all digital touch points."
- Its three co-founders will run the operation as a separate unit reporting to UK chief Rebekah Brooks. The company employs 200 people in 15 offices.
- The deal's expected to close this month. In coming months, News Corp. business units will start offering Unruly products to ad and agency partners, meaning a bump up in premium video and mobile inventory.
Sep. 2, 2015, 9:43 AM
- Confirming earlier reports, News Corp. (NWS +1%, NWSA +0.8%) makes it official and returns Rebekah Brooks to the helm of its UK operation, four years after her resignation amid the company's News of the World phone hacking scandal.
- Brooks is the new CEO at News UK, replacing Mike Darcey; The Sun Editor-In-Chief David Dinsmore becomes COO, and Tony Gallagher was named to replace him at that paper's helm. Brooks will have similar responsibilities to her old post, with the addition of digital acquisition/development.
- Brooks was acquitted of all charges last summer and maintains she had no knowledge of phone hacking while she was at the now-closed paper. Former editor Andy Coulson was convicted and seven other people pleaded guilty.
- "I am delighted to return to News UK," Brooks said. "It is a privilege to be back amongst the most talented journalists and executives in the business."
- Her leadership role is effective Monday, while Dinsmore and Gallagher will take their posts in coming weeks.
Sep. 1, 2015, 11:42 AM
- News Corp. (NWS -2.9%, NWSA -3.2%) says pay for its top execs fell, as a decline in stock awards reduced compensation for Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch and CEO Robert Thomson.
- For the fiscal year ended in June, Murdoch's total compensation was $5.07M, down from the previous $8.7M. Thomson's total pay of $10.29M was down from $12.47M.
- In both cases, base salary ($1M for Murdoch, $2M for Thomson) was unchanged, but stock awards declined 59% for Murdoch, to $2.07M, and his non-equity incentive pay dropped 25%, to $2M.
- Stock awards fell 38% for Thomson, to $4.45M, while non-equity incentive pay was up to $3 from a previous $2.68M.
- Total pay for CFO Bedi Ajay Singh fell to $4.64M, from $5.41M.
Aug. 28, 2015, 2:33 PM
- After a 2011 resignation amid a journalistic phone-hacking scandal -- and a year after being cleared of charges -- Rebekah Brooks is set to return to News Corp. (NWS +1.5%, NWSA +1.3%) as its UK chief executive, the Financial Times reports.
- The company will shuffle execs, with current News UK chief Mike Darcey departing and promoting The Sun's editor, David Dinsmore, to a senior role alongside Brooks.
- Meanwhile, the government is deciding whether to bring corporate charges against News Corp. in the scandal, and two Sun journalists who worked for Brooks could be retried on bribery charges. The U.S. Justice Dept. has said it won't prosecute News Corp. and Twenty-First Century Fox over the scandal.
- Brooks would return to tabloids that have lost their top-profit status. The Sun has lost ground to MailOnline (the world's top English-language newspaper site), and The Times and Sunday Times have lost about £506M before tax since 2002.
Aug. 13, 2015, 3:08 PM
- Investors are cheering a News Corp. (NWS +7.8%, NWSA +7.4%) decision to bail out of the education business, a pricey $1B bet that didn't pay off.
- Earnings yesterday featured a $371M writedown on Amplify, the digital-education unit headed by former New York City schools chancellor Joel Klein.
- News Corp. is in "active conversations with an outside investor" about a sale that are in the "final phase," according to a company memo.
- The education segment made up a little over 1% of total revenues, but was seen as a possible growth engine amid slowdowns elsewhere (News and Information Services revenue declined 10%).
- Earlier this summer, Amplify began winding down sales of its custom tablet device after very light uptake, but said it would continue to support existing customers.
- While Digital Education revenues were up 33% to $24M, the segment's EBITDA was -$24M.
- Previously: News Corp. beats, but takes $371M writedown on education (Aug. 12 2015)
Aug. 12, 2015, 5:39 PM
Aug. 12, 2015, 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.
Aug. 11, 2015, 5:35 PM
Aug. 10, 2015, 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.
Aug. 3, 2015, 12:54 PM
- Move Inc. -- the operator of Realtor.com 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.
Jul. 27, 2015, 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.
Jul. 20, 2015, 1:38 PM
- Go Set a Watchman -- Harper Lee's sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird -- has sold 1.1M copies including preorders in its first week, publisher HarperCollins (NWS +0.8%, NWSA +0.4%) says.
- That makes it the fastest-selling book in HarperCollins' history, but no Harry Potter (8.3M copies sold for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in 24 hours).
- The publisher is increasing the print run to 3.3M copies from an initial 2M.
- Previously: Barnes & Noble riding high off new Harper Lee book (Jul. 15 2015)
- Previously: New Harper Lee book sales passing records (Jul. 14 2015)
- Previously: News Corp. expectations high for new Harper Lee book (Jul. 09 2015)
Jul. 14, 2015, 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)
Jul. 9, 2015, 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.
- Amazon.com says the book is its most preordered print book since 2007's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Jun. 26, 2015, 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.
Jun. 18, 2015, 8:06 PM
- Along with a series of key changes at the corporate level, News Corp. (NWS, NWSA) is changing out the CEO of its Australian division and creating an executive chairmanship for Asia in a "clear plan to use Australia as a base for significant expansion of our presence in Asia," global chief Robert Thomson says.
- News Corp. Australia COO Peter Tonagh will rise to the CEO role, replacing Julian Clarke, at the end of the year.
- Michael Miller, CEO of APN News & Media, will become the executive chairman for Asia.
- News Corp. in March bought a 14.99% stake (the maximum allowed) in APN.
- Previously: Reorg at Dow Jones news means job cuts, digital focus (Jun. 18 2015)
- Previously: News Corp. initiates cash dividend, extends poison pill to 2018 (Jun. 18 2015)
- Previously: Fox confirms Murdochs' leadership changes, sets July 1 transition (Jun. 16 2015)
News Corp. is a media and information services company, which focuses on creating and distributing authoritative and engaging content to consumers throughout the world. It comprises businesses across a range of media, including: news and information services, book publishing, cable network... More
Industry: Entertainment - Diversified
Country: United States
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