News Corp share price highest since 2007

07 Sep 2012  |  Paper Boy 

At the close of business on the Nasdaq stock exchange, News Corporation shares closed at $US 24.495, its highest for five years.

In 2009 at the height of the banking scandal and the onslaught of the global recession, News Corp stock dropped to $US 10.72 and has more than doubled in the three years since then.

More tellingly in the summer of last year the stock dropped to $US 13.62 as the phone-hacking scandal exploded when allegations were made around voicemails being deleted from Milly Dowler's phone and the News of the World was closed. The rise now represents an 80% increase despite the scandal.

We should recognise that News Corporation is a multi-media business with more revenues and particularly profits coming from television and movie interests. However, corporate scandals in small parts of an organisation can derail the progress of the wider business.

The phone-hacking scandal certainly put paid to any possibility of News Corp obtaining the rest of the BSkyB business that it did not already own. And BSkyB stock reached £8.50 on News Corp interest but quickly fell to £6.23 in two months when Rupert Murdoch announced that News Corp would not be bidding for the full company.

News Corp share price

The proposed splitting of News Corp into two separate entities, one with low growth (publishing) and one with high growth (broadcasting and movies), should be watched with interest.

BSkyB share price

The case study on Viacom separating its media businesses show that CBS (the supposedly lower growth media businesses) has performed as well over the last seven years compared to the supposedly high growth Viacom. But then CBS has only a small interest in publishing.

Viacom and CBS share price index

*The author is a News Corporation shareholder.

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