Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA) Stumbles After Announcing ASX Delisting

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA) is hoping to say buy-bye to the Australian Stock Market Exchange (ASX). The entertainment conglomerate announced it has begun the process of delisting from the market, beginning with a request to shareholders to approve the measure.

Following the ASX delisting, all 21st Century Fox Class A and Class B common stock would be listed exclusively on the Nasdaq.

"Today's announcement is part of our ongoing agenda to simplify the operating and capital structure of our company," said CEO Rupert Murdoch. "We believe that consolidating the trading of our stock in the world's largest equity market would provide improved liquidity to the Company's stockholders and greater efficiencies for the Company."

Murdoch noted operations in Australia were significantly limited after the company's split from New Corp's (NWSA) media business last June. In a statement to the ASX, News Corp assured shareholders it would remain listed on the ASX given the country is a significant media market.

The move is pending approval of Class B shareholders. A vote will take place at a March or April meeting and, if approved, a delisting would occur a month afterwards.

By early afternoon, shares have fallen 1.8% to $33.76.

TheStreet Ratings team rates TWENTY-FIRST 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 a number of strengths, 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 revenue growth, solid stock price performance, notable return on equity, reasonable valuation levels and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

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

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 2.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 17.6%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, FOXA's share price has jumped by 33.89%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Turning to the future, naturally, any stock can fall in a major bear market. However, in almost any other environment, the stock should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed nice gains in the past year.
  • 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.
  • TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY FOX INC has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY FOX INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.91 versus $0.44 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.04 versus $2.91).

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