News Co. (NASDAQ:NWSA) Short Interest Up 44.4% in March


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News Co. (NASDAQ:NWSA) saw a large growth in short interest in the month of March. As of March 31st, there was short interest totalling 6,310,000 shares, a growth of 44.4% from the March 15th total of 4,370,000 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 3,730,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 1.7 days.

Shares of NASDAQ:NWSA traded up $0.09 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $26.70. The company had a trading volume of 3,560,364 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,707,363. News has a 12 month low of $8.26 and a 12 month high of $27.68. The company has a current ratio of 1.25, a quick ratio of 1.18 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.14. The stock has a market cap of $15.77 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of -15.61 and a beta of 1.61. The firm has a fifty day simple moving average of $25.66 and a 200 day simple moving average of $19.64.

News (NASDAQ:NWSA) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 4th. The company reported $0.34 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.09 by $0.25. News had a positive return on equity of 1.70% and a negative net margin of 11.47%. The business had revenue of $2.41 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.16 billion. Equities analysts forecast that News will post 0.23 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a Semi-Annual dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, April 14th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, March 17th were issued a dividend of $0.10 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, March 16th. This represents a yield of 0.9%. News’s dividend payout ratio is presently 90.91%.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. FMR LLC raised its stake in shares of News by 1.1% in the 1st quarter. FMR LLC now owns 1,212,125 shares of the company’s stock valued at $15,079,000 after purchasing an additional 12,978 shares during the period. First Trust Advisors LP acquired a new stake in shares of News in the 1st quarter valued at about $3,730,000. Squarepoint Ops LLC acquired a new stake in shares of News in the 3rd quarter valued at about $866,000. Schonfeld Strategic Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of News in the 3rd quarter valued at about $8,845,000. Finally, California State Teachers Retirement System increased its position in shares of News by 1.8% in the third quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System now owns 715,706 shares of the company’s stock valued at $10,034,000 after acquiring an additional 12,863 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 61.15% of the company’s stock.

A number of brokerages have recently issued reports on NWSA. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised News from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $23.00 price target for the company in a report on Wednesday, January 27th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Morgan Stanley raised News from an “underweight” rating to an “overweight” rating and raised their price target for the company from $15.00 to $30.00 in a report on Friday, February 12th. Finally, Guggenheim raised News from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $32.00 price target for the company in a report on Wednesday, March 24th. One analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $24.00.

About News

News Corporation, a media and information services company, creates and distributes content for consumers and businesses worldwide. It operates in six segments: Digital Real Estate Services, Subscription Video Services, Dow Jones, Book Publishing, News Media, and Other. The company distributes content and data products, including The Wall Street Journal, Factiva, Dow Jones Risk & Compliance, Dow Jones Newswires, Barron's, and MarketWatch through various media channels, such as newspapers, newswires, websites, applications for mobile devices, tablets and e-book readers, newsletters, magazines, proprietary databases, live journalism, videos, and podcasts.

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