Sale of HQ Building Boosts NYT Co. 1Q Profit

By: (AP) The New York Times Co.'s profits nearly doubled in the first three months of 2005 due to a one-time gain from the sale of its headquarters building, the company reported Thursday.

The company, which also publishes The Boston Globe and other newspapers, posted net profits of $111 million, or 76 cents per share, for the three months ending in March.

Excluding the gain from the sale of the headquarters building in New York City as well as another property in Florida, profits came in at $43.2 million, or 30 cents per share.

That was in line with the expectations of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial, but below the $58.4 million, or 38 cents per share earned in the comparable period a year ago.

Revenues rose 0.5% in the quarter to $805.6 million from $801.9 million in the same period a year ago.

New York Times shares rose 3 cents to $35.58 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Expenses rose 4% to $720.5 million in the quarter, which the company attributed to higher costs for distribution and printing, stock compensation expenses, higher employee costs, and higher newsprint expense.

Janet Robinson, the company's CEO, said in a statement that the company's results were mixed, as large-market papers like the Times and the Globe reported advertising revenues that were flat to down, affected by consolidation in key advertising categories including telecommunications as well as the timing of the Easter holiday, a traditionally slow period for advertising which fell in March this year but in April last year.

Ad revenues at the company's regional newspaper group rose 7%, however, and revenues from online advertising rose 30%. Broadcasting revenues were essentially flat.

The company also began expensing the cost of stock-base compensation in the first quarter, resulting in higher costs from a year ago. Without that expense, overall costs would have risen 3.2% instead of 4%.


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