New York Times Slumps

New York Times Co. ( NYT) dropped 3.3% Tuesday after posting flat second-quarter results.

The New York-based newspaper publisher made $61.3 million, or 42 cents per share, for the quarter ended June 30. That compares with $60.8 million, or 42 cents per share, during the same period in 2005. Revenue rose 1.6% to $858.7 million compared with $845.1 million.

The 2006 second-quarter results include an after-tax charge of $5.3 million, or 4 cents per share, for costs associated with a staff-reduction program announced last fall. Excluding those costs, latest-quarter earnings were 46 cents a share.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial were looking for the company to earn 44 cents per share on $863.8 million.

"Our second-quarter results reflect higher advertising, circulation and other revenues at The New York Times Media Group and the Regional Media Group, partly because of the introduction of innovative new products," said Chief Executive Janet Robinson, in a statement. "Performance at the New England Media Group was adversely affected by consolidation among important advertisers and by a continued challenging economic environment."

Overall, advertising revenue grew 1%, circulation revenue was up 0.6% and other revenue increased 12.6%.

At the company's News Media Group, which includes The Boston Globe, ad revenue declined 0.7%, due to weakness in print advertising in the New England region, but overall revenue at the group increased 0.5%. Broadcast revenues rose 5.2% to $39.1 million, due to a station acquisition last year and increased political advertising.

About.com's second-quarter revenue increased 62.7% to $19.4 million. "About.com turned in another quarter of outstanding performance. All three of its revenue streams -- display advertising, cost-per-click advertising and e-commerce -- were strong in the quarter, resulting in an overall revenue increase of 63%," said Robinson. "In total, our Internet businesses now account for 7.7% of our overall revenues, up from 5.8% in the second quarter of last year as a result of strong demand for online advertising across our properties."

Looking forward, the company said that in 2006 it expects About.com to achieve double-digit operating profit growth, newsprint costs to rise by 11% to 13% and net income from joint ventures to hit between $20 million and $24 million. The company did not provide full-year guidance.

Analysts expect the company to earn 22 cents on $813.7 million in revenue for the third quarter.

The company Tuesday also announced plans to shutter printing operations at a plant in New Jersey and sublease the facility. It will also trim the size of The New York Times, as part of cost cutting measures.

Separately, the company said CFO Leonard Forman will retire in 2007 after a successor is found.

Shares fell 77 cents early Tuesday to $22.41.

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