Here’s Why News Corp Is Spinning Off Its Publishing Division

newspaperThe strength of News Corp’s (NASDAQ:NWS) cable division helped the media company more-than double its earnings in the last quarter.

In the three months ended in December, net profit rose to $2.4 billion, or $1.01 per share, from $1.1 billion, or 42 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. The majority of the gain came from the acquisition of 50 percent stakes in Fox Sports Australia and Fox Sports Asia that the company did not already own. Along with net profit, revenue rose 5 percent to $9.4 billion and operating income increased 6 percent.

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This quarter’s results show the reasoning behind News Corp’s plan to break up its business. At the end of June, the company will spin off its publishing division from its entertainment business, which includes its 20th Century Fox film studio and Fox television assets, creating two separately listed companies.

Fourth quarter revenue for the publishing division – which is comprised of book publishers and newspapers like The Wall Street Journal and the Times of London – amounted to $2.1 billion, a relatively flat figure compared to the same period in the 2011. The stagnating results reflected lower advertising revenue at the company’s Australian publications, which was only partially offset by increases at its British publications…

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