Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

News Corp. Beats Estimates, Loses $254 Million on Myspace, Says PhoneGate Problems Are Contained

First look at News Corp earnings: The media conglomerate reported earnings of $0.35 per share on revenue of $8.96 billion; Wall Street had been looking for $0.30 a share and $8.44 billion.

The stuff you care about: Rupert Murdoch apologized, again, sort of, for the PhoneGate scandal, but insisted it had nothing to do with the rest of his company. (News Corp. also owns this Web site). From the release:

While it has been a good quarter from a financial point of view, our company has faced challenges in recent weeks relating to our London tabloid, News of the World. We are acting decisively in the matter and will do whatever is necessary to prevent something like this from ever occurring again. It is important to note that there has been no material impact on our other operations. Our broad, diverse group of businesses across the globe is extremely strong today. The drivers of our businesses are intact, our position is strong and our future is promising.

In the “other unpleasant news” category: The company says it booked a $254 million loss on the fire sale of Myspace — a company Murdoch paid $580 million for in 2005, and which once was the key driver in a $900 million Google deal.

A few other quick notes: As the LA Times’s Joe Flint notes, News Corp. ended up shelling out $63 million to BSkyB after PhoneGate scuttled News Corp.’s takeover plans. Then again, News Corp. already owns about 40 percent of the satellite TV company.

And like several other big media companies this quarter, News Corp. is pointing to a bump in revenue from digital licensing deals — read: Netflix — for its library content.

If anyone wants to dive deeper, have at it. I’m going to cover the earnings call live in a minute, but will do in a different post. See you in a few …

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus