BIG WRITE-DOWN: News Corp. posted a $1.55 billion loss in the fourth quarter, dragged down by a $2.9 billion charge on the declining value of its publishing assets. The accounting maneuver is seen as preparation for the planned spin-off of the publishing assets.

IN-LINE EARNINGS: Excluding the write-down and other charges, adjusted earnings came to 32 cents per share, matching the estimate of analysts polled by FactSet. Revenue growth was lower than expected, rising 7 percent to $8.37 billion.

SHARE ACTION: Markets were surprised by the big write-down and revenue miss. The company's shares fell more than 3 percent in after-hours trading.