N.Y. Times Co. Revenue Up on Ad Jump, Earnings Down

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By: E&P Staff

Revenues at The New York Times Co. increased 2.4% in May compared to the same month in 2004, propelled by a 4.1% jump in advertising revenues, the company announced Thursday.

Total year-to-date revenues increased 1.3% on an advertising revenue increase of 2.4%, the company said.

Despite the May increases, the company announced separately that it expected second-quarter earnings per share to be in the range of 38 cents to 42 cents, compared with 50 cents in the same period last year.

The Times Co. said it plans to take a charge of approximately $10 million — which after taxes would amount to 4 cents per share — for costs associated with the staff reduction program announced last month.

The company said it also expects to take a smaller additional charge associated with the program in the third quarter, “once the contractually-required waiting period has expired and the final results are known.”

In the second quarter, the company said it will also record a charge of about $6 million, or 2 cents per share, for costs associated with the expensing of stock-based compensation, a cost it did not have in 2004.

“While advertising revenues in the second quarter have exhibited modest year-over-year improvement, the ad market remains uneven across categories and markets,” said Leonard P. Forman, executive vice president and chief financial officer. “We now expect the company’s ad revenue growth rate to be in the low- to mid-single digits. So far in June we have not seen a continuation of May’s strength, and June ad revenues are currently trending lower than anticipated, although still above the same period last year.”

The Times Co. will report its second-quarter results on July 21.

During May, ad revenues for The New York Times Media Group, which includes the flagship New York Times, were up 4.6%. National ad revenues rose on growth in automotive, corporate, banking, and media advertising, which offset weakness in telecommunications, travel, pharmaceutical, and fashion advertising, the company said. Retail advertising revenues were also up, largely on strength in the fashion/jewelry store and fine arts categories. It said classified advertising revenues increased on gains in real estate that offset softness in help-wanted advertising.

In the New England Media Group, which includes The Boston Globe, ad revenues were down 5.7% in May. The Times said national, retail, and classified advertising were all down.

Considered separately, Internet ad revenues were up 23.1% for May 2005, the company said, reflecting the purchase of About.com.

Circulation revenues were up at the Regional Media Group, which includes the company’s Southern dailies, but were flat at The New York Times Media Group, and declined at the New England Media Group, the company said.

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