New York Times building Manhattan


Shares of The New York Times Co. rose over 6 percent to $19.50 in midday trading on Thursday following the company’s report of better-than-expected second-quarter earnings, which was fueled by revenue from digital subscription and digital advertising.

The company reported second-quarter net income of $15.6 million, or 9 cents a share — although adjusted earnings per share tallied 18 cents. This compared favorably with the same period last year, when the company reported a loss of $211,000 or break even on a share basis.

Total revenue for the second quarter of 2017 increased 9.2 percent to $407.1 million from $372.6 million in the second quarter of 2016 and subscription revenues increased 13.9 percent, while advertising revenues increased 0.8 percent and other revenues rose 12.8 percent. Wall Street expected 14 cents a share on revenue of $393.9 million.

“During the quarter, we surpassed two million digital-only news subscriptions, doubling our digital subscriber base over a two-year period. The company added 93,000 net digital-only news subscriptions, a 69 percent increase in the number of subscription additions compared with the same quarter last year, and total advertising revenue grew for the first time since [the third quarter of] 2014, driven by continued strength in digital advertising,” said Mark Thompson, president and chief executive officer of the company. “We believe that more and more people are prepared to pay for high-quality in-depth journalism that helps them make sense of the world.”

This latest report comes during an anxious time for insiders as the company prepares to change the editorial structure of the newsroom, a controversial move that includes eliminating editing positions and the stand-alone copy desk that has long been an institution at the newspaper. That structural change will result in a severance charge of $19 million.

“Our newsroom is undergoing a process to streamline its editing function to match the speed and form of digital journalism, while freeing up resources to put more journalistic boots on the ground to deliver more investigations and help us further develop our capabilities in visual journalism,” Thompson said during a call with equity analysts. “The process is not an easy one, and we’ll see the departure of many valued colleagues. But I can assure you that we are maintaining and we’re, possibly, increasing our investments in our journalism, hiring significant numbers of journalists with the expertise we need for our digital feature.”

Executive vice president and chief operating officer Meredith Kopit Levien added there has been a slight uptick in less affluent new subscribers from the middle of the country following the presidential election — notable considering the divide evidenced by the results of the election.

Looking forward to the third quarter, the company said it expects revenue from subscriptions to increase at a similar rate. Overall advertising revenue is expected to decrease in the next quarter, but digital advertising is expected to see growth in the low-double digits.

Read more:

New York Times Editorial Staff Protests Over Copy Editor Jobs

The Role of the Editor Shifts at The New York Times Amid Buyouts

New York Times’ Digital Push Lifts Stock

The New York Times Emphasizes Its Sense of Purpose at NewFronts

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