Mixed Numbers for Dow Jones, N.Y. Times

Two big newspaper publishers suffer from an uneven advertising market.
Author:
Publish date:

A middling advertising market led to mixed results Thursday at big newspaper publishers

Dow Jones

(DJ)

and

New York Times

(NYT) - Get Report

.

Dow Jones, New York-based owner of

The Wall Street Journal

, earned a penny a share, compared with 41 cents per diluted share in the second quarter of 2004. Excluding special items it earned 34 cents a share, in line with Wall Street estimates.

Revenue rose 3.7% from a year ago to $454 million but fell short of the $469 million Thomson First Call analyst consensus estimate. Operating income dropped 30.9% overall and 10.7% excluding special items. The company cited declines at its core print publishing unit.

"Our results continue to be adversely affected by declines in B2B advertising in our print publishing segment, a situation we see improving in the third quarter of 2005," says Chairman Peter Kann. "Meantime, we remain focused on executing exciting initiatives such as our acquisition and integration of MarketWatch and the Sept. 17 launch of the weekend edition of

The Wall Street Journal

-- both of which are tracking ahead of expectations. In addition, we continue to control costs and announced the repositioning of our international print and online editions and exit from our

CNBC

international television partnership."

Print publishing posted a 7.2% revenue drop to $235.5 million, and operating income plunged 58% to $7.2 million as ad revenue was weak.

At New York Times, second-quarter results weren't much better.

The company reported that revenue rose 2.6% to $845 million, while earnings per share were 42 cents, down from 50 cents in the same period the year before. Analysts polled by Thomson expected a 43-cent profit on revenue of $844 million.

"Our performance in the quarter was in line with our expectations and reflected the unevenness of the advertising market," says Chief Executive Janet Robinson.

In March of this year, New York Times acquired consumer information company About.com. "We were particularly pleased with the results of About.com," says Robinson. "This was its first full quarter of operation as part of our company. We estimate, based on our records and the records provided by the previous owner, that About.com's ad revenues grew 39% in the second quarter."

Early Thursday, New York Times rose 68 cents to $32.80 and Dow Jones slipped 40 cents to $37.49.