News Corp (NYSE: NWS) posted a net loss because of a $8.4 billion writedown on Dow Jones and other assets in Q4, as marketers pulled back ad revenue as the recession deepened. The net loss was $6.41 billion ($2.45 a share) compared with net income of $832 million ($0.27 per share) last year. Revenue meanwhile fell 8.4 percent.
The Newspapers and Information Services segment reported Q4 adjusted operating income of $179 million, down $17 million from the $196 million reported in the same period a year ago, as lower depreciation expense and the inclusion of Dow Jones' adjusted operating income contributions of $59 million in the quarter were more than offset by falling ad revenues in the U.K. and Australia.
The U.K. newspaper group reported operating income in local currency terms in line with that from a year ago, as the absence of accelerated depreciation on the decommissioned printing presses was offset by 10 percent lower advertising revenues. Circulation revenues increased slightly during the quarter mainly from price increases. More to come
By David Kaplan