News Corp., the global media giant controlled by Rupert Murdoch, said Thursday it lost $6.4 billion in its most recent quarter because of a massive write-down in the value of its assets.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — News Corp., the global media giant controlled by Rupert Murdoch, said Thursday it lost $6.4 billion in its most recent quarter because of a massive write-down in the value of its assets.
The New York-based company, which owns The Wall Street Journal and the Fox broadcast network, also forecast a 30 percent drop in operating profits for the fiscal year to June from a year ago, when it earned $5.13 billion.
News Corp. shares rose 5 cents to $7.50 in after-hours trading.
Murdoch, the chief executive who controls more than a third of the shares, blamed the bleak outlook on falling advertising revenue and the impact of weak consumer sentiment on DVD and book sales.
He told analysts the results were “a direct reflection of the recession that is deeper than anyone predicted” and called it the worst global economic crisis News Corp. had seen since its founding more than 50 years ago.
“We are doing everything we possibly can to position ourselves to emerge stronger when the economy returns to some semblance of normalcy,” he said.
News Corp. also said it had cut 800 positions across its Fox properties, including the movie studio, in moves that it expected to save $400 million a year. The Wall Street Journal said Thursday it is cutting about two dozen newsroom positions.
The company said its quarterly loss amounted to $2.45 per share. In the same period a year ago the company had net income of $832 million, or 27 cents per share.
Excluding the write-down, which amounted to $6.7 billion after taxes, the company said its net income in the three months to Dec. 31 was $320 million, or 12 cents per share.
Revenue fell 8.4 percent to $7.87 billion.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected, on average, earnings of 19 cents per share on revenue of $8.39 billion.