NY Times Co. Reaffirms 3Q Forecast

By: Lisa Singhania, AP Business Writer

(AP) The New York Times Co. reaffirmed its third-quarter forecast Tuesday, citing improving advertising revenues despite continued softness in classified and retail ads.

The media company, which owns The New York Times, The Boston Globe and 16 other newspapers, as well as radio, TV and Internet holdings, said advertising revenue for its newspaper group increased 2% in August from a year ago — an extension of a trend that began in January.

Confirming its earlier projections, the company said third-quarter earnings per share are expected to be between 34 cents and 38 cents. Full-year earnings per share are expected to come in between $1.90 and $2. Those figures are roughly in line with what analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call are expecting.

The stock rose 71 cents, or 1.5%, to $47.61 per share in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Ad revenues at the Times showed the most strength, rising 3.1% in August from the previous year. Its Fashions of the Times fall magazine on Aug. 18 enjoyed a 9.1% increase in advertising pages from a year ago for the largest such magazine since 1986.

The New England Newspaper Group, which includes The Boston Globe, turned in a 0.2% increase in advertising revenue for August, while the regional newspaper group posted ad revenue gains of 1.4%.

The picture wasn’t completely rosy, however. There was weakness across the newspaper group in classified advertising revenue because of a decline in help-wanted advertising despite some strength in real estate ads. Retail ad revenues were also soft, with regional papers maintaining their levels of a year ago while the New England group and The New York Times suffered declines.

Year-to-date, overall revenues are down 5.2%. The Times is 6.3% below where it was a year ago, while the New England group has lost 5.9% and the regional group is off 0.6%.

Advertising volume was mixed, falling 5.4% in August at the Times but increasing 6.1% at the New England group and 3.6% at the regional group. Year-to-date, the Times‘ ad volume is down 10.2%, compared with a 2.9% increase at the New England group and a 1.5% gain at the regional group.

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