News Corp "Watches" TV Boost Revenues, But What Lies Ahead?

News Corp.'s headquarters in New York.
Mark Lennihan
News Corp.'s headquarters in New York.

News Corp. is benefiting from its global diversity and a strong TV business, and it doesn't seem to be hurt by the U.S. economy's downturn. And now, investors are saying the stock is undervalued.

The day after its earnings announcement,NWS is trading up (at this posting). The company announced its profit more than tripled thanks to its sale of DirecTV and stock exchange with Liberty Media . Meanwhile NWS revenue was up 16 percent to $8.75 million, beating analyst estimates (according to Bloomberg).

The big winner is Fox TV. Thanks to the most-watched Super Bowl ever and the success of "American Idol" growing thanks to the writers' strike, profit of Fox TV grew 54 percent (oof!). Meanwhile Fox Interactive (which includes MySpace) narrowed its loss to $7 million from $104 million as sales increased 17 percent.

CEO Rupert Murdoch faces lots of questions about what he's planning for MySpace, especially now that Yahoo is again in play since Microsoftdropped its bid.COO Peter Chernin said on the post-earnings conference call that the company is "open to strategic talks about MySpace" and is also open to keeping it as a standalone unit. As to whether the company's in talks with Yahoo, Microsoft, or AOL, Chernin said NO.

Murdoch also faces questions about his plans to purchase Newsday, a plan that's challenged by New York Daily News owner Mort Zuckerman. Murdoch says he plans to wrap up a deal for Newsday in the next week. He justified the potential investment by saying it would bring $100 million to his company's cash flow each year, while giving economies of scale with his other NewYork-based newspapers.

Between plans for MySpace and for Newsday, we're looking for lots of news from Murdoch in the near future.

Questions? Comments?