News Corp Fourth Quarter Earnings PREVIEW

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, August 8, 2012. News Corp. is a global media company with operations in film, television, cable programming, satellite television, magazines, and book publishing.

News Corp Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average analyst estimate is for profit of 32 cents per share, a decline of 8.6% from the company’s actual earnings for the year-ago quarter. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from 36 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It has been unchanged at 32 cents during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting net income of $1.40 per share, a rise of 22.8% from last year.

Past Earnings Performance: Last quarter, the company beat estimates by 6 cents, coming in at profit of 37 cents a share versus the estimate of net income of 31 cents a share. It marked the fourth straight quarter of beating estimates.

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A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit rose 46.6% to $937 million (38 cents a share) from $639 million (24 cents a share) the year earlier, exceeding analyst expectations. Revenue rose 1.8% to $8.4 billion from $8.26 billion.

Stock Price Performance: Between May 8, 2012 and August 2, 2012, the stock price rose $3.81 (19.7%), from $19.33 to $23.14. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between November 25, 2011 and December 6, 2011, when shares rose for eight straight days, increasing 11.8% (+$1.89) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between July 2, 2012 and July 12, 2012 when shares fell for eight straight days, dropping 5.6% (-$1.29) over that span.

Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts predict a decline of 2.6% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $8.73 billion.

Key Stats:

On the top line, the company is looking to build on four-straight revenue increases heading into this earnings announcement. Revenue rose 10.5% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, 7.2% in the first quarter and 2.4% in the second quarter before increasing again in the third quarter.

The company enters this earnings announcement with steady profits recently. Net income has risen year-over-year average of 21.1% for the last four quarters.

Analyst Ratings: With 15 analysts rating the stock a buy, none rating it a sell and five rating the stock a hold, there are indications of a bullish stance by analysts.

Balance Sheet Analysis: The company’s current ratio of assets to liabilities came in at 2.08 last quarter. Having a ratio above 2:1 is usually considered a good indicator of a company’s liquidity and ability to meet creditor demands. The company regressed in this liquidity measure from 2.14 in the second quarter to the last quarter driven in part by an increase in liabilities. Current liabilities increased 6.8% to $10.04 billion while assets rose 3.6% to $20.86 billion.

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(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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