News Corporation (NWSA)

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News (NWSA)

Q4 2011 Earnings Call

August 10, 2011 4:30 pm ET


David DeVoe - Chief Financial Officer, Principal Accounting Officer, Senior Executive Vice President, Executive Director, Senior Executive Vice President of News America, Director of BSkyB, Director of NDS, Director of News America and Director of STAR

Chase Carey - Deputy Chairman, President and Chief Operating Officer

Reed Nolte -

Keith Murdoch - Chief Executive officer and Director


Edmund Lee

Jolanta Masojada - Crédit Suisse AG

Spencer Wang - Crédit Suisse AG

Jessica Cohen - BofA Merrill Lynch

Georg Szalai

Benjamin Swinburne - Morgan Stanley

Anthony DiClemente - Barclays Capital

Richard Greenfield - BTIG, LLC

Michael Nathanson - Nomura Securities Co. Ltd.

Jon Lafayette

Jason Bazinet - Citigroup Inc

David Gelles

Yinka Adegoke

Alan Gould - Evercore Partners Inc.

David Folkenflik

Douglas Mitchelson - Deutsche Bank AG

David Bank - RBC Capital Markets, LLC



Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by, and welcome to the News Corp.'s Fourth Quarter 2011 Earnings Release. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, today's conference is being recorded. Okay, at this time, I'd like to turn the conference over to Reed Nolte, Senior Vice President Investor Relations, News Corp. Please go ahead.

Reed Nolte

Thank you very much, operator. Hello, everyone and welcome to our fourth quarter fiscal 2011 earnings conference call. On the call today are Rupert Murdoch, Chief Executive; Chase Carey, President and Chief Operating Officer; and Dave DeVoe, our Chief Financial Officer. First, we'll give some prepared remarks on the most recent quarter and full year, and then we'll be happy to take your questions, first from the financial community and then from the press. We urge you to please keep to one question so we can accommodate as many folks as possible.

This call may include certain forward-looking information with respect to News Corp.'s business and strategy. Actual results could differ materially from what is said. News Corp.'s Form 10-K for the 12 months ended June 30, 2011, identifies risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ, and these statements are qualified by the cautionary statements contained in such filings. Additionally, this call will include certain non-GAAP financial measurements. The definition of and reconciliation of such measures can be found in our earnings release and our 10-K filing. Finally, please note that certain financial measures used in this call, such as adjusted segment operating income, are expressed as a non-GAAP basis. The GAAP to non-GAAP reconciliation of adjusted segment operating income is included in our earnings release. And with that, I'll turn it over to Rupert.

Keith Murdoch

Thank you, Reed and good afternoon, everyone. As David and Chase will go over shortly, our company's operating and financial performance this quarter was exceptional and our full year results are very solid overall. We are continuing to generate strong cash flow. We have the most robust balance sheet in our history, and just as important, we have effective strategies to further expand our content into even more markets and onto more platforms. I'm very proud of our management team and our people around the world in all our businesses. Their contributions are the reason for our strong performance. Of course, while it has been a good quarter from a financial point of view, our company has had challenges in recent weeks stemming from issues relating to the News of the World. I'll be very clear about where I stand. I've run this company for more than 50 years. The kind of behavior that occurred in that newsroom had no place at News Corporation. It does not reflect the actions and beliefs of our more than 50,000 professional employees. The board and I believe I should continue in my current role as Chairman and CEO. But make no mistake, Chase Carey and I run this company as a team and the strength of that partnership is reflected in our improved results.

I'm personally determined to put things right when it comes to the News of the World. Likewise, our Board of Directors and senior management are acting decisively to get to the bottom of what happened. As has been widely reported, Joe Klein is leading our efforts on this issue, reporting directly to Viet Dinh, on behalf of the independent directors. The Board and the company have retained independent outside counsel. In addition, our nominating corporate governance committee has engaged [indiscernible] to advise on our corporate governance practices. We are all committed to doing the right thing. We have taken decisive actions to hold people accountable and we will continue to do whatever is necessary to prevent something like this from ever occurring again. There can be no doubt about our commitment to ethics and integrity.

As we work through this matter, it's important to note there's been no material impact on our operations outside of the closure of the News of the World. Our broad, diverse global business is extremely robust today, performing well across the markets where we compete. As Dave and Chase will discuss, we continue to produce content that is loved increasingly by viewers, readers, audiences and fans throughout the world. In short, the drivers of our business are intact and our position is strong and our future is promising.

One other outcome of recent events was our decision not to pursue our offer for the remaining BSkyB shares we do not already own. I'm disappointed about that, but it's clear this was no longer feasible under the circumstances. The BSkyB has remained an important element for us and we are very excited of those opportunities for continued growth. We are using this turn of events as an opportunity to carefully reassess our capital allocation priorities. Our first step is the $5 billion share repurchase program we announced last month. I want to give you all my personal assurance that we'll be active in that program aggressively. We are also reexamining our near and long-term priorities. Be assured that in addition to pursuing compelling opportunities that further investment in our businesses, we are always rigorously assessing a broad range of avenues to deploy capital to drive value to our shareholders. Our fundamental goals is at News Corp. are to produce sustained, meaningful value for shareholders, to provide outstanding content and service for customers and consumers, and to do it all with integrity. All these goals are interrelated and all are critically important, and we will deliver on them. Thank you, all. Now let me turn the call over to Dave.

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