NYT Stock Down on Earnings Drop

New York Times sees earnings fall in the third quarter, driven by weak advertising and circulation revenue.
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The New York Times

(NYT) - Get Report

saw earnings fall in the third quarter, driven by weak advertising and circulation revenue.

New York Times saw a loss of $4.3 million, or 3 cents per diluted share, compared with a loss of $35.6 million, or 25 cents per diluted share, in the same period a year ago for the media company.

New York Times revenue declined 2.7% to $554.3 million from $569.5 million during the quarter as total advertising revenues fell 1.0% and circulation was down 4.8% in the third quarter.

"Although we experienced marketplace volatility, it is clear that advertisers are responding to the opportunities to associate their brands with our high quality journalism that engages audiences across multiple, and multiplying, platforms," said New York Times president and CEO Janet Robinson. "Online advertising revenue, which rose 15%, continued to grow its share of revenue and made up 27% of the company's total advertising revenues in the third quarter."

The company's About.com group revenues were up 5.5% to $32.5 million from $30.8 million, driven by a 5.3% increase in advertising revenue. The growth in display advertising was offset by lower cost-per-click advertising.

For the first nine months of the year, New York Times swung to a profit of $40.6 million, or 26 cents a share, compared with a loss of $71 million, or 49 cents a share, in the same period a year ago.

Revenue fell 1.6% to $1.73 billion from $1.76 billion, attributed to weak advertising revenue.

The company hopes to see a boost from its upcoming paid subscription Web site for

The Boston Globe

and the new pay model for NYTimes.com.

"We recently announced that in the second half of 2011

The Boston Globe

will launch a paid subscription Web site, BostonGlobe.com, and that Boston.com will remain free," Robinson said. "This two-brand strategy will allow us to better serve consumers and advertisers, will create a second revenue stream and will foster innovation across the sites."

Management expects the print advertising market to "improve modestly" and digital advertising to grow 10%. The company also said that circulation revenue is expected to continue falling 4% to 5%, and that newsprint prices will rise.

Following the third quarter report, analyst John Eade of Argus downgraded the New York Times to a hold from a buy and dropped his estimated earnings per share to 58 cents from 70 cents for 2010.

New York Times shares are down 1.9% in early morning trading today to $7.64.

--Written by Theresa McCabe in Boston.

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