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Challenge to 21st Century Fox (FOXA) Board Fails, Murdoch Keeps Job

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Media mogul Rupert Murdoch remains at the helm of 21st Century Fox (FOXA) after a challenge to instate an independent chairman at an annual meeting Friday was unsuccessful. Murdoch and his family currently hold approximately 40% of voting rights in the entertainment empire, according to Bloomberg.

Shareholder groups, such as Christian Brothers Investment Services, which backed the petition on Friday, have challenged Murdoch's position for three years with no success.

The 82-year-old billionaire holds a significant share of media influence. He currently acts as chairman for both 21st Century Fox and News Corp (NWSA), formerly united under News Corporation which divided its publishing, film and broadcasting assets in mid-2013. In addition to his chairmanship, Murdoch holds the position of CEO at 21st Century Fox.

21st Century Fox also announced it will sell a 12.15% stake in Phoenix Satellite Television Holdings to investment firm TPG Capital.

Shares for the media conglomerate had gained 0.09% to $34.35 as of 3:10 p.m. EST. 

TheStreet Ratings team rates 21st Century Fox Inc as a Buy with a ratings score of B. The team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (FOXA) a BUY. This is driven by several positive factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 165.62% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 35.04% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. 
  • TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY FOX INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY FOX INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.90 cents a share vs. 44 cents a share in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.11 vs. $2.90).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Media industry. The net income increased by 76.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$1,553 million to -$371 million.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.97, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.44, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Media industry and the overall market, Twenty-First Century Fox Inc's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

Written by Keris Alison Lahiff.

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