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News Corp. fourth-quarter results marred by $1.6-billion loss

August 08, 2012|By Meg James
  • Benjamin Walker stars in "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter," a 20th Century Fox release from June that disappointed at the box office.
Benjamin Walker stars in "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,"… (20th Century Fox )

News Corp. reported lower earnings and revenue in its fourth quarter as the global media giant controlled by Rupert Murdoch struggles to manage the financial fallout from a devastating phone-hacking scandal at its British publishing subsidiary.

For the April-June quarter, News Corp. reported a net loss of $1.6 billion, or a loss of 64 cents a share. That compared with a $683 million profit, or 26 cents a share, for the fourth quarter of 2011.

The quarterly results included a $2.9-billion pre-tax impairment and restructuring charge, primarily related to the company's publishing businesses.

The company took a $224-million charge for the 2012 fiscal year for costs associated with ongoing investigations over the bribery and phone-hacking scandals at its now-shuttered London tabloid News of the World.

The company said it generated revenue of $8.4 billion, a decline of 7%, from the nearly $9 billion it took in during the year-earlier period. Strength at the company's key cable TV networks, including FX and Fox News Channel, were weighed down by issues elsewhere in the company.

News Corp. warned that the film group, which delivered strong results in the prior quarter, would post a "significant decline" in the fourth quarter. The film studio's major June releases, Ridley Scott's highly anticipated sci-fi thriller "Prometheus," and "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter," disappointed at the box office. Twentieth Century Fox's strongest release of the year, the animated film "Ice Age: Continental Drift," was released in July, at the start of the next fiscal quarter.

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