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News Corporation (NWS)

- NASDAQ
  • Yesterday, 4:46 AM
    • Nearly four years after Rebekah Brooks left News Corporation (NASDAQ:NWS) amid the phone-hacking scandal at the now-defunct U.K. tabloid the News of the World, the former executive is close to finalizing a deal to return to the company.
    • The details of her exact role are still being discussed, but Brooks could end up in an executive position overseeing digital initiatives, WSJ reports.
    • Brooks was acquitted last year on four charges related to illegal activity, including conspiracy to intercept voicemails and illegal payments to a public official.
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  • Mon, Feb. 23, 12:33 PM
    • Discovery Communications (NASDAQ:DISCA) gives back much of its morning surge (shares were up 9%; now back to +5%) as the company joins FOX in denying a story (Fox says "categorically untrue") that the two companies talked merger.
    • Maybe the rumor comes from a misunderstanding about a joint bid Discovery has put in with Foxtel (NASDAQ:NWSA) for Australia's Ten Network?
    • Sanford's Todd Juenger says if the companies are telling the truth and they're not talking, then maybe they should be: "We believe a merger between Fox and Discovery would make strategic sense on a number of levels ... We still love the idea of Discovery as Fox’s next best alternative" to its failed tie-up with Time Warner.
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  • Fri, Feb. 20, 9:37 PM
    • Graham Holdings (NYSE:GHC) -- the former Washington Post Company -- was up 3.7% at the open and easily crested the $1,000/share mark again, following its Q4 earnings, before giving back all of the day's gains by midday.
    • Education revenues from Kaplan operations ($551.4M, nearly flat) still made up the bulk of its $925.3M in revenues, but particularly strong were revenues in TV broadcasting, up 20% to $102.4M (aided by political ads in a midterm election year). Operating income in broadcast was up 24% to $54.4M.
    • Revenue from "other businesses" (which includes digital-heavy publishing operations like Slate, Foreign Policy, The Root) more than doubled to $73.8M, from $30.7M.
    • Seems like unloading The Washington Post to Jeff Bezos made the rest of the business great, Benjamin Freed says. He notes that now-GHC shares opened at $560.14 that summer 2013 day, headed to $584.97 that week and it's been a "robust trajectory" ever since. From the time of the sale, shares are up 83% vs. the S&P's +22%.
    • Other companies are doing the same, he notes: See News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWSA) splitting off Twenty-First Century Fox (FOX, FOXA); Tribune Media (NYSE:TRCO) dropping publications into Tribune Publishing and thriving as a broadcast/real estate company; and Gannett (NYSE:GCI), which plant to spin off USA Today and its dailies.
    • Q4 earnings; press release
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  • Wed, Feb. 4, 3:51 PM
    • Kingdom Holding Co. -- the publicly listed investment vehicle of Saudi Arabia's Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal -- is selling most of its 6.6% stake in B shares of News Corp. ((NWS -0.3%), (NWSA -0.4%)), leaving it with 1%, and generating about $188M.
    • The company, however, is maintaining its 6.6% share of Twenty-First Century Fox ((FOX +0.2%), (FOXA)). It says the sale was part of a general portfolio review.
    • Al-Waleed publicly supported Rupert Murdoch through the phone-hacking scandal and investigations and took pains to do so again: "We remain firm believers in NewsCorp’s competent management, led by CEO Robert Thomson, and are fully supportive of Rupert Murdoch and his family."
    • The Murdoch companies report earnings over the next 24 hours.
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  • Wed, Feb. 4, 5:35 AM
    • Saudi Arabia's Kingdom Holding, owned by Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, has cut its stake in Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWS), reducing its shareholding in Class B shares to 1% from 6.6%.
    • The bourse statement announcing the news stated that the sale generated "705M riyals ($187.9M)", which will be used for other investments.
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  • Mon, Feb. 2, 7:22 PM
    • The Justice Dept. wraps a lengthy probe of News Corp. (NWS, NWSA) and Twenty-First Century Fox (FOX, FOXA) by deciding not to prosecute the companies in relation to the U.K. phone hacking/bribery scandals of 2011.
    • The companies still face a number of probes as well as litigation in Great Britain.
    • The U.S. case included looking into possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
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  • Dec. 19, 2014, 4:55 PM
    • News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWS) has bought BigDecisions.com, a site that "aims to help Indian consumers make smarter financial decisions through interactive, decision-making tools powered by sophisticated algorithms and data." Terms are undisclosed.
    • With News Corp. stating BigDecisions.com has "helped some 40,000 users," the site appears to have a fairly small base as of now. Last month, News Corp. spent $30M to take a 25% stake in Indian real estate site PropTiger.com.
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  • Dec. 15, 2014, 9:42 AM
    • Storyful announces Rahul Chopra will be its new CEO.
    • Chopra served as Chief Revenue Office at News Corp. in his previous role.
    • The social news agency was acquired by News Corp. (NWS, NWSA) a year ago.
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  • Nov. 24, 2014, 6:55 PM
    • News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWS) is spending $30M to buy a 25% stake in PropTiger.com, a leading Indian real estate site.
    • The investment comes on the heels of News Corp.'s $950M purchase of Realtor.com owner Move. The company also had a 61.6% stake in REA Group, which owns leading Australian real estate site realestate.com.au.
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  • Nov. 23, 2014, 4:40 PM
    • Discovery (NASDAQ:DISCA) and Foxtel (NASDAQ:NWS) are reportedly preparing to offer shareholders in Ten Network Holdings a potential interest in any turnaround in its financial performance in to an effort win the takeover auction for the troubled company.
    • Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) is reportedly out of the running.
    • Ten's tentative deadline for indicative offers is Dec. 2.
    • Source: AFR
    • Previously: Race for Ten Network Holdings to heat up this week (Nov. 10)
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  • Nov. 14, 2014, 8:40 AM
    • News Corp (NWS, NWSA) announces it completed the acquisition of Move Inc.
    • The purchase gives News Corp access to an online business that displays information for 98% of all properties listed for sale in the U.S.
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  • Nov. 10, 2014, 7:54 AM
    • Potential suitors for Ten Network Holdings are expected to attend presentations by management in Australia this week as the sale process speeds up.
    • Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) has already thrown out a $588M offer price for Ten Network, while a joint Discovery Communications (NASDAQ:DISCA)-Foxtel (NASDAQ:NWS) bid is also anticipated.
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  • Nov. 5, 2014, 6:21 PM
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  • Oct. 20, 2014, 8:16 AM
    • Macquarie upgrades News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWS) to a Neutral rating from Underperform.
    • Shares of NWS have dipped 15.3% over the last month to put valuation back in line, according to Macquarie.
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  • Sep. 30, 2014, 6:46 AM
    • News Corp (NWS, NWSA) is acquiring Move Inc. (NASDAQ:MOVE) for $950M, or $21/share, a 37% premium over MOVE's Monday close.
    • News Corp will own 80% of Move (MOVE); REA Group, which is 61.6% owned by News Corp, will take the other 20%.
    • Move had 2013 revenue of $227M. News Corp says the acquisition will provide a "significant marketing platform for our media assets."
    • Back in April, SA contributor Michael Ranalli called the bottom in MOVE (sub. req'd) when it was trading around $10/share.
    | 1 Comment
  • Jun. 26, 2014, 8:09 AM
    • "We view News Corp. (NWS, NWSA) as a classic media value play, as its individual pieces are undervalued, but provide downside protection for the stock," says analyst John Janedis, initiating with a Buy and $22 price target.
    • "We expect fundamentals to improve, which should translate to multiple expansion in the stock ... Longer-term, similar to other media companies, we think NWSA could spin off assets to create value. In our view, NWSA is not the newspaper value trap of years past due to the value of REA, Foxtel, Harper Collins, and cash balance."
    • "Given valuation of the stock, we think a successful outcome [of strategic initiatives] is currently priced into the stock at current levels," he says, starting New York Times (NYT) with a Hold and $15 price target.
    • "We think the combination of tepid ad growth and the regulatory overhang will continue to slow the acquisition pipeline and constrain multiple expansion," he says, starting Nexstar Broadcasting (NXST) at Hold with $48 price target. "While 2014 will be a big year for political advertising, we do not see significant upside to our estimates."
    • Gannett (GCI) is initiated with a Buy.
    • Previously: Jefferies launches coverage on media names
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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.