Education unit drags Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp to loss in the last quarter
News Corp. said Wednesday it swung to a loss in the last quarter, as it wrote down the value of its education technology business, called Amplify.
The media group controlled by Rupert Murdoch and his family said it was now reviewing “strategic alternatives” for the education business, which sought to deliver digital content and analytics to schools.
As a result of the writedown and other one- time charges, News Corp posted a loss of US$ 379 million for the quarter ending June 30, following a profit of US$ 12 million in the same period last year.
Revenues for the period fell two percent to US$ 2.14 billion for News Corp., which operates The Wall Street Journal, New York Post, The Times of London, The Sunday Times, a group of newspapers in Australia and the HarperCollins book publishing group.
solid performance across a number of our businesses, including the fast- growing realtor. com, we had a strong fourth quarter finish to a good fiscal year,” said chief executive Robert Thomson.
In the News and Information unit, revenues for the period dropped 10 percent from a year ago to US$ 1.4 billion, while operating profit rose 29 percent to US$ 169 million.
Sickle cell disease is an inherited disorder that is most common in people of African, Middle Eastern and South Asian descent. Its symptoms include severe pain and it leads to organ failure and death. The National Institutes of Health says a stem cell transplant from a donor is the only cure for the condition, but most patients are too old for a transplant or can’t find a good enough genetic match. One drug is approved to treat pain caused by sickle cell disease, and blood transfusions are also used as treatments.
The company’s offering of 6 million shares priced at US$20 each raised a greater-thanexpected US$120 million. The stock surged to a closing price of US$43.11, a gain of 116 percent. FactSet says the company’s market capitalization is now around US$3.5 billion, and it’s the third biotech to have its shares more than double in value on their first day of trading this year.
Government-owned Solid Energy announced it was placing itself into voluntary administration, a process it hopes will allow it to keep trading as it tries to sell its assets. Whether any of its coal operations remain viable will be up to any potential buyers to decide.
The company employs 540 staff directly and another 200 contractors. At its peak, it was mining more than 4 million metric tons of coal each year, about 70 percent of which was used for making steel.
The company said its large debt was exacerbated by a drop in the price for hard coking coal from over US$300 per metric ton in 2011 to about US$85 this year. Contributing to the fall has been China’s slowing growth, some U.S. utilities switching to natural gas, and a glut of supply. gether, customers with hundreds of thousands of checking and savings accounts were shorted millions of dollars over six years starting in 2008, the regulators said Wednesday. The action, the first of its kind, was brought by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Treasury Department’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.