News Corp, owner of Fox TV and the Wall Street Journal, posted profit that beat analysts' estimates and raised its dividend 27 per cent, cushioning investor losses after a phone-hacking scandal hurt the stock.
Operating income rose 8.9 per cent to $982 million (Dh3.6 billion), or 35 cents a share, in the fourth quarter ending June 30, News Corp said yesterday in a statement.
Net income fell 22 per cent to $683 million, or 26 cents a share, reflecting a loss on the sale of the Myspace website. Excluding items, analysts were predicting profit of 30 cents, the average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales rose to $8.96 billion.
News Corp raised the quarterly dividend to 9.5 cents a share from 7.5 cents previously, the first increase in two years.The company, controlled by chairman and chief executive officer Rupert Murdoch is seeking to convince investors that allegations of phone hacking at its now-defunct UK News of the World tabloid won't affect the rest of the company.
"The focus will be on guidance," said David Bank, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets in New York who recommends the stock. "It will be interesting to know how much clarity they can provide."The company also said it will begin stock repurchases under a new $5 billion authorisation after August 15.Sales exceeded the average analyst estimate of $8.48 billion.
News Corp, also the owner of Fox News and the Twentieth Century Fox film studio, rose 29 cents to $14 in extended trading. The Class A stock declined 84 cents to $13.71 in Nasdaq Stock Market trading and has lost 24 per cent since July 4, when the Guardian newspaper reported the News of the World tabloid had accessed the voice mail of a murdered teenager.
From / Gulf News