NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, generally weak debt management, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Media industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 473.7% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $32.03 million to -$119.72 million.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Media industry and the overall market, NEW YORK TIMES CO's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Currently the debt-to-equity ratio of 1.76 is quite high overall and when compared to the industry average, suggesting that the current management of debt levels should be re-evaluated. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio is weak, NYT's quick ratio is somewhat strong at 1.04, demonstrating the ability to handle short-term liquidity needs.
  • The share price of NEW YORK TIMES CO has not done very well: it is down 24.94% and has underperformed the S&P 500, in part reflecting the company's sharply declining earnings per share when compared to the year-earlier quarter. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.
  • NEW YORK TIMES CO has exprienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, NEW YORK TIMES CO turned its bottom line around by earning $0.70 versus -$0.02 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 15.7% in earnings ($0.59 versus $0.70).

The New York Times Company operates as a diversified media company in the United States. It operates in two segments, News Media Group and About Group. The News Media segment comprises the New York Times Media Group, the New England Media Group, and the Regional Media Group. New York Times has a market cap of $901.7 million and is part of the services sector and media industry. Shares are down 40.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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