Sky Deutschland Slumps on Operating Loss Report: Frankfurt Mover

Sky Deutschland AG, the German pay-TV provider controlled by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., fell the most in six months after saying its full-year loss narrowed less than most analysts estimated and setting the price on its share offering.

The 2012 loss before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization probably was between 48 million euros ($64 million) and 58 million euros, Munich-based Sky said in a statement today. Analysts on average predicted a loss of 48.3 million euros, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

“Consensus was a bit more optimistic than that,” said Sarah Simon, an analyst at Berenberg Bank in London who recommends investors buy Sky Deutschland stock. “People are generally looking for the company to beat rather than meet expectations.”

The shares fell as much as 5.8 percent to 4.48 euros, the biggest intraday drop since July 23, and were down 4.4 percent as of 1:13 p.m. in Frankfurt. Volume was 70 percent higher than the shares’ three-month daily average.

News Corp. increased its stake to 54.5 percent last week from 49.9 percent by buying new shares as part of a financing round. Sky, whose shares almost tripled last year as the number of subscribers grew, was seeking additional funding to roll out more high-definition channels and to pay for licenses to show matches of Germany’s Bundesliga soccer league.

Sky said it was offering 20.4 million new shares to existing investors at 4.46 euros per share. Sky shareholders have the right to acquire one new share per 42 existing shares, the company said. The rights issue implies News Corp. may not buy out minority shareholders in the near future, analysts at Nomura said in a note to clients today.

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