Tags: News | Corp | Loss | murdoch

News Corp. Reports Loss After Writing Down Australian Businesses

Wednesday, 08 August 2012 04:59 PM

News Corp., billionaire Rupert Murdoch’s media company, reported a $1.55 billion fourth-quarter loss after writing down the value of Australian newspapers and other parts of its publishing business.

The net loss was 64 cents a share, compared with net income of $683 million, or 26 cents, a year earlier, the New York-based company said in a statement. Excluding some items, profit was 32 cents a share, in line with the average analyst estimate compiled by Bloomberg. The reported writedowns of $2.8 billion, “principally related to the company’s publishing businesses, most significantly the Australian operations.”

The majority of News Corp.’s value comes from its entertainment operations, which include the Fox News cable network and Twentieth Century Fox film studio. In June, Murdoch announced a plan to split off the declining publishing division, which includes the Wall Street Journal in the U.S. and the Sun newspaper in the U.K., into a separate public company.

Annual publishing profit fell 31 percent to $597 million, partly because of shrinking advertising revenue at the Australian newspapers as well as the closure of the News of the World newspaper, the company said.

News Corp. fell as much as 4.2 percent to $22.72 in extended trading after the report. The shares had surged 33 percent this year, bolstered by the plan to break up the company.

While the entertainment business will continue to be led by Murdoch, the board has yet to designate a chief executive officer for the new publishing company. The spinoff should take about a year to complete, the company said in June.

Sales fell 6.6 percent to $8.37 billion in the fourth quarter, which ended June 30. Analysts had estimated $8.72 billion.

Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News, competes with News Corp. units in providing financial news and information.

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Wednesday, 08 August 2012 04:59 PM
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