New York Times Co. swings to loss on charges, ad sales drop

May 01 00:01 2015

The New York Times Co. said Thursday its first-quarter net loss totaled $14.2 million following a decline in advertising sales and pension settlement payments to former employees. Company-wide revenue declined 1.6% to $384.2 million as a modest gain in circulation didn’t sufficiently offset a 5.8% drop in advertising.

nytIn the year-ago period, the company earned $1.7 million on revenue of $390.4 million. After adjusting for some items, diluted earnings per share from continuing operations totaled 11 cents, beating analysts’ estimate of 8 cents.  In the first quarter, the company recorded a $40.3 million pension settlement charge from a lump-sum payment to some former employees.

Shares rose 4.8% to $13.43 Thursday. While the number of sold print copies fell, its circulation revenue rose 0.8% to $211.5 million for the quarter because it increased home-delivery prices and digital subscription sales were higher.

Revenue from digital-only subscription products rose 14.4% to $46.1 million. Digital-only products had a total of 957,000 paid customers, up 20% from a year ago. Its advertising revenue totaled $149.9 million for the quarter as the rate of print advertising decline outpaced the increase in digital sales. Print advertising sales fell 11.1%. Digital ad sales, which make up 28% of all ad revenue, totaled $42.3 million. That’s 10.7 % higher than a year ago.