News Corp To Buy Back $5 Billion In Stock Over Next 12 Months

At least News Corp. shareholders have something to be smiling about (for a few more days). The beleaguered company, which has many more problems in its future, has just announced it will proceed with a $5 billion stock buyback over the next 12 months. Perhaps a legal sinking fund may have been a better use of cash, but who are we to advise one way or another.

Full release:

News Corporation today announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase program totaling $5 billion.

This program increases the approximately $1.8 billion remaining under the Company's current program to $5 billion. News Corporation is targeting to acquire the $5 billion of Class A common stock and Class B common stock from time to time over the next 12 months.

Repurchases under the program will be made through open market transactions. The timing of such transactions and class of shares purchased depend on a variety of factors, including market conditions and blackout periods. The Company is currently in a blackout period and does not intend to commence the repurchase program until that period expires on August 15, 2011. The share repurchase program does not obligate the company to repurchase any dollar amount or number of shares of its common stock, and the program may be extended, modified, suspended or discontinued at any time.

News Corporation (NASDAQ: NWS, NWSA; ASX: NWS, NWSLV) had total assets as of March 31, 2011 of approximately US$60 billion and total annual revenues of approximately US$33 billion. News Corporation is a diversified global media company with operations in six industry segments: cable network programming; filmed entertainment; television; direct broadcast satellite television; publishing; and other. The activities of News Corporation are conducted principally in the United States, Continental Europe, the United Kingdom, Australia, Asia and Latin America.