Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of News (NASDAQ:NWSA) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Friday morning.

According to Zacks, “Shares of News Corporation have declined and underperformed the industry in the past six months. The company remains vulnerable to foreign currency headwinds and soft print advertising demand. Advertising revenue at News and Information Services segment fell 5% during the second quarter of fiscal 2019 owing to softness in the print advertising market and decline in News America Marketing revenues. Nevertheless, the company is concentrating on cost cutting, expanding digital offerings with greater emphasis on real estate services to mitigate the impact of the same. These endeavors helped the company to register ninth straight quarter of positive earnings surprise and post revenue beat. Results gained from sturdy performance at the Digital Real Estate Services and Book Publishing segments as well as the consolidation of Foxtel. Although top line grew year over year, bottom line fell on account of higher operating and interest expenses.”

Several other research firms have also recently commented on NWSA. ValuEngine cut News from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 30th. UBS Group upgraded News from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, January 17th. Finally, Citigroup upgraded News from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research note on Monday, January 14th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $14.17.

NASDAQ:NWSA opened at $12.46 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.09, a quick ratio of 1.09 and a current ratio of 1.19. News has a one year low of $10.65 and a one year high of $16.68. The stock has a market capitalization of $7.29 billion, a P/E ratio of 28.32, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.48 and a beta of 1.54.

News (NASDAQ:NWSA) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 7th. The company reported $0.18 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.16 by $0.02. News had a positive return on equity of 2.70% and a negative net margin of 13.11%. The business had revenue of $2.63 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.62 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.24 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 20.5% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities research analysts predict that News will post 0.39 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a semiannual dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, April 17th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, March 13th will be paid a dividend of $0.10 per share. This represents a yield of 1.61%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, March 12th. News’s payout ratio is currently 45.45%.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Legacy Bridge LLC acquired a new stake in News during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $37,000. Enlightenment Research LLC acquired a new stake in News during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $56,000. Cadence Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in News during the third quarter valued at approximately $138,000. Signition LP raised its stake in News by 11.9% during the fourth quarter. Signition LP now owns 13,575 shares of the company’s stock valued at $154,000 after buying an additional 1,448 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Daiwa Securities Group Inc. raised its stake in News by 7.8% during the fourth quarter. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. now owns 13,900 shares of the company’s stock valued at $158,000 after buying an additional 1,000 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 61.22% of the company’s stock.

News Company Profile

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

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