Shares of The New York Times Co. ticked up 1.5 percent iThursday after the media company met Wall Street’s third-quarter earnings projections and swung to a profit. The shares closed at $13.25.
In the third-quarter, The Times registered net income of $9.4 million, or 6 cents a diluted share, versus a year-ago loss of $12.5 million, or 8 cents a share.
Revenue totaled $367.4 million for the period, increasing 0.7 percent over last year.
Wall Street expected earnings of 6 cents a share on revenues of $365.7 million.
The company credited a 7.6 percent decline in costs to $345.5 million, as well as a 1.1 percent uptick in circulation revenue to $209.1 million, bolstered by digital subscriptions.
The company also noted that circulation revenues rose, in part, because of January’s increase in home-delivery prices of the paper, which offset declines in print copies sold.
“We added 51,000 net digital subscribers, bringing the total number of paid digital-only subscribers to 1,041,000 at the end of Q3,” said president and chief executive officer Mark Thompson. “This is the largest number of net subscribers we have added in a quarter since Q4 2012, evidence of our ability to continue to grow our digital subscriber count more than four years after the launch of our pay model and of the high demand for our digital journalism.”
Still, those gains did not stem declines in advertising sales, which fell 2.1 percent to $135.4 million.
Thompson said he expects total circulation revenues to remain in line with those in the third quarter. Advertising revenues are anticipated to decline in the mid-single digits compared with the fourth quarter of 2014. Digital advertising revenues are expected to rise in the mid-single digits.
“Moving forward, our focus remains on rapidly growing our digital business and maintaining the long-term strength and viability of our print operation,” the ceo noted.
Earlier this month, The Times said it anticipates doubling digital revenues to $800 million by 2020. Over the past five years, the Gray Lady doubled digital revenues, to $400 million in 2014.