New York Times Reaffirms Outlook

New York Times, whose CEO is speaking at an investor conference Monday, reaffirms its second-quarter and full-year expectations.
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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The New York Times (NYT) - Get Report, ahead of a speech by CEO Janet Robinson at an investor conference Monday, strove to soothe Wall Street by "reaffirming" the vague if bullish outlook it offered when it reported first-quarter earnings last month.

"Based on what we have seen to date, we continue to expect year-over-year revenue trends for the second quarter for print advertising to improve from the levels of the first quarter," the company's chief executive, Janet Robinson said in a press release Monday. Digital advertising, meanwhile, "is expected to trend similarly to the first quarter, with increases from 2009 in the high teens," she said.

But the Times also indicated that its costs will likely rise the rest of the year as the publisher brings salary levels back to normal after rollbacks implemented in the second quarter of 2009. Newsprint prices have also climbed off their historic lows, the company said.

The Times is in the midst of developing a pay model for its web site, which it expects to launch in January. The new approach would allow users free access to a set number of articles each month, then charge them once they've exceeded that number.

As previously announced, the Times expects to record depreciation and amortization of $125 million to $130 million in 2010 and capital expenditures of $45 million to $55 million.

Full-year income from joint ventures should be in the range of $5 million to $10 million, the company said. That excludes a gain of about $13 million from the sale of an asset at one of the Time's paper mills and a gain of about $9 million from the sale of a piece of the its interest in New England Sports Ventures, the parent company of the Boston Red Sox.

The Times is projecting full-year net interest expense of $85 million to $90 million.

Early in the second quarter, the Times sold 50 of its 750 units in the Red Sox parent, trimming its stake to 16.57%. The Times has said it intends to explore the sale of its remaining interest in NESV, in whole or in parts.

The company also said it made a discretionary contribution of $78 million to one of its pension plans, reducing its underfunded status.

Monday morning, the stock, which has fallen 26% year-to-date, was trading at $9.22, up 7 cents, or 0.8%, on light volume.

-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York

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