The News Corp. Chairman and CEO sold voting shares in the media company worth around $28.9 million last week, further reducing his voting stake by a fraction of a percent. Murdoch sold a total of one million class B shares last week in two transactions, which valued the stock at $28.85 and $28.86 a share, according to a 2/22 securities filing. The sale comes after Murdoch the previous week sold voting shares in the company valued around $40.1 million.
Murdoch and his family own more than 39% of News Corp.’s voting shares. The vast majority of the family’s stake is held through a Murdoch family trust. The shares sold were held by another trust for Murdoch’s benefit, reported Dow Jones.
Last week’s sale reduced that trust’s stake to 8.25 million shares from 9.25 million shares. Overall, the Murdoch family’s voting stake dropped to 39.4% from 39.56% as a result. Before the previous week’s sale, the voting stake had been 39.7%.
In 11/12, Murdoch sold the remaining portion of his Class A, nonvoting shares in the company, which were valued at more than $10 million. He had sold another $62 million worth of nonvoting shares a year earlier.
RBR-TVBR observation: Six months ago, News Corp. stock was trading under $24. It recently almost hit $30, a 22.6% lift. Murdoch certainly is looking for some profit taking in these transactions. However, in the last few days the stock has dropped under $29, perhaps due to some investor fears that Murdoch anticipates a down trend as evidenced by these sell-offs.