August 6, 2015 / 12:50 PM / 4 years ago

New York Times revenue misses as print ad sales fall again

(Reuters) - New York Times Co reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue as its print advertising sales fell for the fourth straight quarter.

People stand across the street from the New York Times head office in New York, in this February 7, 2013, file photo. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/Files

Shares of the company, which also forecast a decline in its current-quarter ad revenue, fell as much as 6 percent on Thursday.

Newspaper and magazine publishers are struggling to arrest the fall in their print ad revenue, caused by advertisers’ increasing preference for digital platforms as readers turn to smartphones and tablets.

The shift to digital platforms has also hurt U.S. cable companies, with Viacom Inc, Walt Disney, Twenty-First Century Fox Inc, Discovery Communications Inc and Time Warner Inc reporting disappointing quarterly numbers.

New York Times’ print ad revenue fell 12.8 percent in the second quarter.

“I think overcoming the decline in print is sort of like trying to overcome gravity,” FBR Capital Markets analyst William Bird said.

New York Times’ advertising revenue fell 5.5 percent to $148.6 million. The company said it expected a mid-single digit percentage decline in its ad revenue in the current quarter.

However, New York Times’ digital ad revenue rose 14.2 percent to $48.3 million, accounting for about a third of its total ad revenue.

Circulation revenue grew slightly, helped by a 13.8 percent rise in revenue from digital-only subscription products. New York Times said its paid digital-only subscriber base topped 1 million as of July 30.

The company needs to “continue execution on digital” to return to a path of revenue growth, Bird said.

Net income attributable to New York Times’ shareholders jumped 78.5 percent to $16.4 million, or 10 cents per share, in the second quarter, helped partly by cost cuts.

Operating costs fell 4.9 percent to $344.8 million. The company said it expected operating costs to fall by low-single digit percent in the third quarter.

Excluding items, New York Times earned 13 cents per share.

Revenue declined 1.5 percent to $382.9 million.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of 11 cents per share and revenue of $383.5 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

New York Times shares were down 4 percent at $12.65 in noon trading on the New York Stock Exchange, while the Dow Jones U.S. Media index was down 4.6 percent.

Editing by Kirti Pandey

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