Why the News Corp (ASX:NWS) share price is edging lower today

The global media company's shares are trading ex-dividend.

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Key points

  • News Corp shares are edging 0.9% lower to $29.65 in early trade
  • The company's shares are trading ex-dividend
  • Shareholders can expect to receive a dividend payment on 13 April

The News Corp (ASX: NWS) share price is heading south during early Tuesday trading.

This comes despite the media giant not releasing any market-sensitive news today.

At the time of writing, News Corp shares are down 0.9% to $29.65 apiece.

Why are News Corp shares falling today? 

Following the company's second-quarter and half-year results released on 4 February, investors are eyeing News Corp shares as they go ex-dividend today.

Typically, one business day before the record date, the ex-dividend date, is when investors must have purchased shares. If the investor does not buy News Corp shares before this date, the dividend will go to the seller.

Historically, when a company reaches its ex-dividend day, its shares tend to fall in proportion to the dividend paid out. This is because investors tend to sell off the company's shares after securing the dividend.

What does this mean for News Corp shareholders?

For those eligible for News Corp's interim dividend, shareholders will receive a payment of 9.83 cents per share on 13 April. Although, the dividend is unfranked, which means investors won't receive any tax credits from this.

The dividend is slightly higher when compared against the prior corresponding period despite recording lower free cash flow.

Management said the decline was primarily due to lower cash provided by operating activities and higher capital expenditures.

Are News Corp shares a buy now?

Following the company's financial scorecard, a couple of brokers weighed in on the News Corp share price.

The team at Macquarie raised its 12-month price target by 16% to $50.00 for the media company's shares. Its analysts believe there is still more upside in News Corp shares in line with its sound performance recently.

Based on the current share price, this implies an upside of about 67% for investors.

Furthermore, UBS also lifted its rating on News Corp shares by 2.4% to $42.50 a pop. This also implies an upside of around 42% from where the company trades today.

News Corp shares price summary

Since the beginning of 2022, News Corp shares have lost more than 4% on the back of weak investor sentiment on the ASX.

The company's shares reached a 52-week low of $28.18 last week, before rebounding slightly higher thereafter.

On valuation grounds, News Corp commands a market capitalisation of around $1.36 billion, with approximately 45.32 million shares outstanding.

Motley Fool contributor Aaron Teboneras has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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