* Q2 adj EPS 14 cents vs Street estimates of 13 cents
* Total revenue up almost 1 pct on circulation revenue gains
* Takes $194.7 million charge for About Group
By Jennifer Saba
July 26 Higher paper and digital subscriptions
lifted quarterly revenue at the New York Times Co, even
after the company wrote down the value of its Internet property,
The publisher of the New York Times and the Boston Globe
said on Thursday second-quarter revenue grew almost 1 percent to
$515.2 million as circulation revenue climbed 8 percent. That
exceeded analysts' average expectation of revenue of $510.9
million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Total paid digital subscriptions for NYTimes.com and
BostonGlobe.com climbed 13 percent to 532,000 as of March 18.
Shares of the company leapt after the results were released,
and were up about 10 percent at $7.75 in midday trading.
"Circulation revenue helped the company achieve modest
revenue growth," said Jocelyn MacKay, an analyst with
The company took a $194.7 million non-cash goodwill charge
for the About Group and reported a net loss of $88.1 million.
The New York Times bought the About Group in 2005 for about $410
Still, there are troubling signs for investors and analysts,
as the company has been without a CEO for seven months and
continues to suffer from dwindling ad revenue.
New York Times Co Chairman and Acting CEO Arthur Sulzberger
Jr. said he would have "more to share" about the long search by
the end of the quarter.
"Our new CEO must have strong business and digital
management skills and understand the power of brand," Sulzberger
said on a call with analysts.
Excluding severance costs and the About Group writedown, the
company reported earnings per share of 14 cents, beating
analysts' estimates by a penny, according to I/B/E/S.
Print advertising revenue at its news properties fell 8
percent while digital advertising revenue slid almost 2 percent.
Including the About Group, digital ad revenue fell 4
"(About.com)is dragging everything down, which is concerning
for how small About Group is," MacKay said.
About.com is a website that provides expert answers that are
geared to appear high in search queries. In turn, the company
sells advertising against those results.
That division has run into trouble mainly because of changes
made by Google Inc to its search algorithm to return
At the About Group, revenue fell almost 8 percent due to
decreases in both cost-per-click and display advertising. The
company cited competition and the weak economy for the display
advertising revenue declines.
The company said total ad revenue trends in the third
quarter are expected to improve from the second quarter because
of digital ad sales.