News Corp shares rise on stock buyback

Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation last night doubled the size of a stock buyback programme that has been mollifying its shareholders while scandals have raged around the company.

The media giant raised the size of the buyback from $5bn to $10bn, using cash that it had previously earmarked for its defunct bid to take full control of BSkyB.

The buyback began last July, the same day the BSkyB deal collapsed, and the company revealed last night that it had spent $3.8bn buying its own shares already.

The purchases are one reason why News Corp shares have risen more than 10 per cent since the start of this year. Another is the continuing strength of businesses such as Twentieth Century Fox, the movie studio, and Fox News, the US cable news channel, both of which helped push group profit up 47 per cent to $937m in the first three months of 2012.

News Corp spent another $63m (£39m) in the quarter on the investigation into hacking at News International and police bribery claims.