News Corporation Offers Dividend, Pill


News-CorpThe dividend is the first in two years, since the former, bigger and more diverse News Corp. split in two. Also adopted was an amended shareholder rights plan, otherwise known as a poison pill.

News Corporation holds the print assets of the Murdoch empire, among other things.

The dividend will be ten cents per share payable in the company’s fiscal Q1 2016, which commences 6/29/15.

The Right Plan was about to expire but will now be in force through 6/18/18. The company stated, “The Rights Plan allows the Board of Directors to preserve the Company’s ability to implement management’s strategic plan in order to maximize the long-term value of the Company for all stockholders.”

Wells Fargo Securities analyst Eric Katz noted that the company had been buying back stock since the split which resulted in the formation of the new 21st Century Fox company (mostly broadcast and cable assets).

Katz said the dividend is evidence of a more shareholder-friendly attitude from the company, and at a cost of about $115M annually, it leaves plenty of room to continue its $500M buyback program and still invest in the business, in M&A activity or in further capital returns to shareholders.