News Corp. plans to buy back stock

Firm to purchase $1.5 bil over next year

News Corp. said Thursday that it will buy back up to $1.5 billion of its preferred shares over the next year.

That represents about 6.5% of all preferred, or limited-voting, shares in the Sydney-based media conglom. News Corp. said it was taking the step because of corporate cash surpluses.

Such moves generally come when companies feel their shares are undervalued. Last month, News Corp. announced a $5.35 billion plan to acquire Chris-Craft Industries’ 10-station broadcast group, but that has caused only a modest recent rise in the stock.

“Their capital management strategies are very clever,” Deutsche Bank analyst Michael Managan said.

News Corp., which is controlled by chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch, said it would begin its buyback campaign on Sept. 18.

(Bloomberg News contributed to this report. )

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