News Corp (NWSA): Are Hedge Funds Pulling Their Bets on This Stock?

The erstwhile News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) has split into News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) and Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (NASDAQ:FOX). This report focuses on the quarter prior to the split as the results are still relevant. The data presented is for the second quarter.

News Corp is into the publishing and television broadcasting industry. The focus is on current news presented via a plethora of television channels and newspapers. Some of the famous television channels include FOX, FX, FXX, FS1, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, Fox Sports, Fox Sports Network, National Geographic Channels, Fox Pan American Sports, MundoFox, STAR. The company is also into cable, broadcast, film, and pay television. News Corp had to close down its popular newspaper ‘News of the World’ over a phone hacking scandal.

Investors should be aware of a decrease in hedge fund interest of late. NWSA was in 66 hedge-fund portfolios at the end of September. There were 72 hedge funds in a key tracking database with NWSA holdings at the end of the previous quarter.

News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA)

Hedge fund activity in News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA)

At the end of the second quarter, 66 of the hedge funds were long in this stock compared to 72 for the previous quarter, an 8-percent drop from the previous quarter. With the smart money’s positions undergoing their usual ebb and flow, there exists a few notable hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes considerably.

When looking at the hedgies tracked by Insider Monkey, Yacktman Asset Management, managed by Donald Yacktman, holds the most valuable position in News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA). Yacktman Asset Management has a $198.4-million position in the stock, comprising 0.9 percent of its 13F portfolio. On Yacktman Asset Management’s heels is JANA Partners, managed by Barry Rosenstein, which held a $137.3-million position; the fund has 1.6 percent of its portfolio invested in the stock. Remaining peers that hold long positions include Patrick McCormack’s Tiger Consumer Management, Boykin Curry’s Eagle Capital Management and Michael Blitzer’s Kingstown Capital Management.

Seeing as News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) has witnessed bearish sentiment from hedge fund managers, it’s easy to see that there were a few hedge funds that slashed their entire stakes at the end of the second quarter. At the top of the heap, Chris Hohn’s Childrens Investment Fund cut the biggest position of the 450+ funds Insider Monkey keys on, totaling about $826.8 million in stock. Boykin Curry’s fund, Eagle Capital Management, also said goodbye to its stock, about $748.4 million. These bearish behaviors are intriguing to say the least, as total hedge fund interest dropped by six funds at the end of the second quarter.

What do insiders think about News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA)?

Insider buying is at its handiest when the primary stock in question has seen transactions within the past half-year. Over the latest six-month time frame, News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) has experienced zero unique insider purchases and zero insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s also examine hedge-fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA). These stocks are Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:LYV), Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA), The Madison Square Garden Co (NASDAQ:MSG), The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), and Time Warner Inc (NYSE:TWX). These groups of stocks are in the diversified entertainment industry and their market caps are closest to NWSA’s market cap.

Company Name # of Hedge Funds # of Insiders Buying # of Insiders Selling
Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:LYV) 35 0 5
Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA) 22 0 1
The Madison Square Garden Co (NASDAQ:MSG) 37 0 0
The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) 54 0 1
Time Warner Inc (NYSE:TWX) 60 2 4

In spite of the upheavals, News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) managed to be a favorite among hedge funds at the end of the second quarter. Live Nation Entertainment Inc. (NYSE:LYV) was a favorite of the insiders, as is Time Warner Inc (NYSE:TWX).


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