What happened to Fox stock price since firing Tucker Carlson?
Media stocks are not doing well as concerns about the industry’s future remain. I recently wrote about the bruised media giant Paramount Global, while troubles at Warner Bros. Discovery and Disney are well-known.
Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Corporation (NASDAQ: FOX) is not doing well, especially after it fired Tucker Carlson in 2023. The stock is trading at $30, 17.78% below its highest point in 2023. It has underperformed the broader S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 indices, which are hovering near their record highs.
Fox is bruised after Tucker Carlson’s ousterCopy link to section
Fox Corporation had a difficult year in 2023 as the woes in the media industry continued. The company was forced to pay $787 million to Dominion Voting Systems for its election coverage. It is facing another huge lawsuit since Smartmatic has filed a similar – but bigger – lawsuit.
Further, the company fired Tucker Carlson, who was the most popular person on cable television. Since then, Tucker has gone ahead and launched Tucker Carlson Network, a freemium platform. He also shares his content on X, formerly known as Twitter. Since his firing in April 2023, the FOX stock price has crashed by over 12%.
Still, fundamentally, Fox Corporation has continued to do well without Tucker Carlson. In terms of ratings, Fox News still has a bigger market share compared to its key competitors like MSNBC and CNN.
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In its most recent financial results, Fox News said that its revenues came in at $3.2 billion in the third quarter, a 2% increase from the same period in 2022. Its affiliate fee revenue rose by 2% while its advertisement revenue dropped by 2%.
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Its net income dropped to $407 million from the previous $605 million. In addition, Fox Corporation is on track to continue repurchasing $7 billion of its stock. It ended last quarter with $3.8 billion in cash and $7.2 billion in debt.
The impact of Tucker Carlson’s firing was not big for Fox. While Tucker attracted a substantial audience, he was boycotted by most big advertisers, meaning that he did not bring in a lot of revenue. The only impact was on Fox Nation, the company’s subscription platform that is said to be struggling.
While Fox Corporation makes a lot of money in advertising, like other cable TV stations, it also makes substantial sums from cable providers. Fox made $1.39 billion in cable revenues in the third quarter.
Still, the challenge for Fox Corporation is that it faces no major growth drivers in the future. As cord-cutting intensifies, the company’s affiliate fees will remain under pressure for a long time. I also don’t expect a major return of advertisers to its platform as they focus on digital channels.
Fox Corporation stock price forecastCopy link to section
Turning to the daily chart, we see that the FOX share price has been under pressure in the past few months. In this period, it has remained below the 50-day and 100-day Exponential Moving Averages (EMA). It is also slightly above the key support at $29.97, its lowest swing on May 10th of last year.
The Average True Range (ATR) has retreated to its lowest level since August 7th. Therefore, the outlook for the shares is still bearish, with the next level to watch being at $27.57, the lowest swing in October 2022.
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