Wednesday, 6 August 2008

How is the NYT's Nemesis Doing?

News Corp. fourth-quarter earnings beat expectations

NEW YORK: News Corp., the media company controlled by Rupert Murdoch, reported fourth-quarter profit on Tuesday that beat analysts' estimates on gains from DVDs and newspapers and the sale of its stake in Gemstar-TV Guide International.
Net income increased 27 percent to $1.13 billion, or 43 cents a share, from $890 million, or 28 cents a year earlier, News Corp., based in New York, said in a statement. That beat the 34-cent average of 15 analysts' estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales gained 17 percent to $8.59 billion.

Total operating profit increased 21 percent to $1.48 billion in the period ended June 30, the company said.

Sales at the newspaper group rose 54 percent to $1.84 billion after the $5.2 billion acquisition of Dow Jones, which closed in December. Operating profit rose 29 percent.

The division that includes MySpace reported a $69 million profit compared with a loss of $17 million a year earlier as sales increased 7.8 percent to $812 million.
Peter Chernin, News Corp.'s president and chief operating officer, said today the company planned to be "opportunistic" about its MySpace Web business.
"There are frequently questions about the strategy and more often than not they work out," David Joyce, an analyst at Miller Tabak told Bloomberg Television. "In the end, it is just a longer-term perspective than a lot of the shareholders, because he is looking at this as a legacy for his family."

I blogged yesterday about Rupes not having a long term strategy - yet - for the WSJ and indeed his other newspapers - but what I did remark is that he is in it for the long haul. Something I think is agreed with by Tabak quoted above.

You could argue that the Sulzberger family would say the same about their perspective compared with that of their shareholders.

The difference is that Rupes has what the British military like to refer to as 'grip' - on the situation and their men in warfighting situations. In this case Rupes' grip is over his shareholders; the Sulzberger's don't.

Winning the global media battle is going to require long-term strategy and investment, which means having shareholders onside to weather short-term losses and increased spending. That's his key advantage on Wall Street.

International Herald Tribune
New York Times

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