Having survived shareholder challenge to his family's influence at the helm of News Corporation, Rupert Murdoch says the company is well-positioned for strong performance and the market likes what it is doing.
Murdoch told News Corp's annual general meeting in Los Angeles that the company's internal restructuring in the wake of the UK telephone hacking scandal and a plan to split the media giant into two separate entities will ensure better performance and greater shareholder value.
News's chief executive and chairman admitted the company had endured "a difficult period in our 50 year history".
But, he added: "I believe the numbers will bear out that the market likes the work we are doing and has confidence in our future".
He also guaranteed completion of a company buyback from shareholders with $US4.6 billion ($A4.51 billion) of a $US10 billion ($A9.80 billion) authorised fund pool spent to date on 260 million shares of Class A common stock.
"Although our pace has recently slowed, we are fully-committed to completing the balance of this buy back," he told a live audience of about 80 in the Daryl F Zanuck Theater on the Fox Studio compound in Hollywood.
The meeting was also webcast on the News Corporation site.
Murdoch, for the second straight year, faced shareholder challenges to his dual position as chairman and CEO and the makeup of the News Corporation board, including the presence of his sons Lachlan and James.
The Murdoch family's control of about 40 per cent of shareholder votes ensured the challenges had little chance of success and the mogul announced "preliminary" results had quashed calls for fundamental changes in management as well as attempts to make the voting process more inclusive for all shareholders.
But, unlike last year, it was a relatively subdued atmosphere at the meeting, giving 81-year-old Murdoch the chance to paint a rosy picture of the company's recent achievements and its future direction, under his guidance.
"Since addressing shareholders a year ago, our stock price has risen about 45 per cent," he said, adding that adjusted total segment operating income grew 13 per cent and adjusted earnings per share were up 19 per cent to $US1.41 per share.
News Corporation earlier announced a profit for the year to June 30 of $US1.2 billion, down from $US2.7 billion ($A1.18 billion down from $A2.65 billion) the previous year.
It said its fourth quarter result took a $US1.6 billion ($A1.57 billion) loss on the back of a $US2.8 billion ($A2.74 billion) pre-tax charge, much of it linked to the write-down in value of the group's poorly performing Australian newspapers.
While the company's publishing division, including newspapers located around the world, struggled, profits soared for its cable TV networks and filmed entertainment sector, which includes 20th Century Fox.
Cable networks' profits were up more than 19 per cent while filmed entertainment jumped 18 per cent. These parts of the company's business contributed more than 75 per cent of its operating income.
However, there was a 30 per cent slump in publishing's earnings following a drop in advertising revenues, while legal costs relating to the phone hacking scandal at its UK paper The News of The World were $US224 million ($A219.46 million).
Murdoch didn't address the publishing side performance at the annual meeting, instead he asserted the company decided to split into two because "our company is undervalued".
"This separation will free up each company to better deliver on its promises to customers across the globe. As we do, it will also mean unlocking more value for our shareholders."The chief executive said the new publicly-traded companies would have "separate names and different missions" with News Corporation likely to announce details about their executive management structure and board make-ups by the end of the year.
The new magazine for a new generation of West Australians.Click here to download »
All the latest market figures from Australia and the world.Click here »
'The West Australian' is a trademark of West Australian Newspapers Limited 2013.
All rights reserved.
Select your state to see news for your area.