News Corporation (NWSA) is a beast even among big media companies, with interests that intersect in dozens of platforms and languages across multiple geographies and distribution channels. While sheer size often is an obstacle for media firms, News Corp. under CEO Rupert Murdoch has been able to move nimbly into new markets.
News Corporation is a diversified global media company with operations in six industry segments: cable network programming; filmed entertainment; television; direct broadcast satellite television; publishing; and other.
The activities of News Corporation are conducted principally in the United States, Continental Europe, the United Kingdom, Australia, Asia and Latin America. Some of the better known News Corp. brands include Fox News, ESPN, The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones, The New York Post, BSkyB, The Times, Fox Filmed Entertainment and a broad variety of sports and international cable channels and production operations.
News Corp. had total assets as of Dec. 31, 2011 of approximately $60 billion and total annual revenues of approximately $34 billion.
Commenting on quarterly results, NWSA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rupert Murdoch said that the company would continue a share buyback program, “repurchasing nearly $4 billion worth of stock over the last nine months and (has) just increased the authorization for future buyback purchases by $5 billion.”
“In addition, we continue to opportunistically address non-core assets, as demonstrated by the announced sales of our ownership stakes in Hathway Cable and NDS in the quarter. I am confident in the execution of our strategy which will continue to drive growth, create value for our shareholders and ensure the long-term strength of the company."
News Corporation has a market cap of $30.20 billion in a sector, media, where the average company size is $8.8 billion. Its trailing 12-month P/E ratio is 13.01 and its five-year projected price-to-earnings-growth (PEG) ratio is 0.69.
Its projected earnings per share growth for the coming year is 21.43 percent, compared to a sector average of 17.01 percent.
Wall Street is bullish on News Corp., with buy or outperform calls in from RBC Capital Markets, Ned Davis Research, Standard & Poor’s Equity Research, Citigroup Investment Research, Deutsche Bank, and Goldman Sachs.
“Against an improving macroeconomic backdrop, we note the company's generally encouraging results for the first nine months of FY 12, fueled by the cable networks businesses, with relatively broad-based strength and other compelling potential catalysts on incremental revenue opportunities (e.g., digital streaming, retransmission, e-books),” S&P analysts wrote in mid-May.
“Meanwhile, we note excess liquidity increasingly deployed for ramped-up share buybacks, versus a relatively modest dividend.”
News Corporation next reports on Aug. 8.
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