News Corp., the global media giant controlled by Rupert Murdoch, said today it lost $6.4 billion in its most recent quarter because of a massive write-down in the value of its assets. The company, which owns the Wall Street Journal and Fox, also forecast a 30% drop in operating profits for the fiscal year to June from a year ago, when it earned $5.13 billion.
News Corp. shares rose 5 cents to $7.50 in after-hours trading. Murdoch, the chief executive who controls more than a third of the shares, blamed the bleak outlook on falling advertising revenue and the impact of weak consumer sentiment on DVD and book sales. The company's first loss in 13 quarters is "a direct reflection of the recession that is deeper than anyone predicted," he said.