Shares of New York-based publisher Time Inc. fell more than 13 percent to the $13 range in late-morning trading after the company reported a steeper loss in the first-quarter loss and saw revenues shrink.
Time Inc., which had been fielding offers to sell itself, is in the process of reinventing the company after it couldn’t find a suitor willing to pay its $20 a share asking price. It slashed the quarterly dividend from 4 cents a share to 19 cents, and said it hired an adviser to help with “aggressive cost reengineering for meaningful margin expansion.”
Chief executive officer and president Rich Battista said: “In the first quarter of 2017, we made important progress on our strategic plan despite continuing challenges with print advertising revenues. We are taking strategic actions and focusing on key initiatives to put the company on the right course for the future. We are creating a more vibrant and valuable platform for our advertisers and consumers, further enhancing financial flexibility, aggressively reducing our cost base, rationalizing our portfolio and continuing to invest in transformational growth initiatives. Importantly, our board of directors’ April 28 announcement affirming our strategic plan has removed a major distraction for our people and advertisers. While we have a lot of work to do, Time Inc. is very well positioned to emerge as a winner in the rapidly changing consumer and media marketplace.”
For the first quarter ended March 31, Time Inc. reported a loss of $28 million, or 29 cents a diluted share, compared with a year-ago loss of $10 million, or 10 cents a share. Revenues slid 7.8 percent to $636 million from $690 million, last year. Stripping out one-time items, it reported an 18-cent loss.
Wall Street expected a loss of 15 cents a share on revenues of $641.8 million.
Although the company touted growth initiatives that sparked revenue gains from video, native and branded content, the company cited the troubled print environment as a drag.
Print advertising revenue, which makes up a third of the total, slid about 21 percent to $212 million in the quarter, while digital advertising sales jumped 32 percent to $119 million. Overall, ad revenues slid 8.1 percent to $331 million.
Circulation revenues fell 13.9 percent to $205 million, weighed down by a 17.6 percent dip in newsstand sales to $56 million and a 13 percent decline in subscriptions to $140 million.
The company said it “no longer intends to provide quarterly pacing or an annual revenue outlook,” but would provide “insights and key metrics as appropriate.”
In addition to reporting earnings, the publisher said it changed up its board, appointing John Fahey, the lead independent director, to non-executive chairman.
Dan Rosensweig, president and ceo of online learning platform Chegg Inc. and former chief operating officer at Yahoo, has been nominated to the board.
Former Time Inc. ceo, Joe Ripp, who served as executive chairman, and director Sir Howard Stringer are both retiring from the board and will not seek reelection at the annual meeting on June 29.