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New York Times swings to loss in first quarter, Looking for more digital acquisitions

2008.04.26

New York Times swings to loss in first quarter

 

CHICAGO (MarketWatch) -- New York Times Co. said Thursday it swung to a first-quarter loss, hurt by a charge and a steep decline in advertising revenue at its newspapers, giving another indication that the environment remains highly challenging for the industry.

The company indicated that ad trends have improved to some extent in April due to a shift in the timing of Easter and the publication of Key, the real estate magazine published twice a year.

Offering a near-term outlook at the flagship New York Times newspaper during a conference call with analysts, General Manager Scott Heekin-Canedy said the U.S. recession is "clearly having an impact on spending patterns" among advertisers.

"There are significant differences from category to category as I hope you would expect. I've got good visibility into May and June at this point, and I wouldn't give you any suggestion that you would see something significantly different [from year-to-date patterns]," Heekin-Canedy said.

 CEO Janet Robinson said the company is seeking more opportunities to acquire digital properties to adapt to the changing news climate.

She was responding to a question about whether the company will be more aggressive now that it has two new board members from private equity firms that have demanded dramatic measures to stimulate New York Times Co.'s flagging stock price.

"It's clear that we have been and will continue to be on a march to make sure that our portfolio is balanced in way that will increase shareholder value," Robinson said, adding that the effort includes "increasing our digital holdings."

Martin Nisenholtz, the company's senior vice president of digital operations, remarked that it's "very hard" to find acquisitions that would produce the kind of cash flow needed to have a "meaningful impact" on New York Times Co.'s business.

In the first quarter of 2008, New York Times Co. lost $335,000, equivalent to breakeven on a per-share basis. In the same quarter a year earlier, the company earned $23.9 million, or 17 cents a share.

The results in the latest quarter included a non-cash, after-tax charge of $10.4 million, or 4 cents a share, as well as a favorable tax reserve adjustment of $4.6 million, or 3 cents a share.

Excluding items, the company would have earned 4 cents a share in the first quarter of 2008.

The latest results exclude any impact from the broadcast media group, which it sold in May 2007.

Revenue declined 5% to $747.9 million from $786 million in the year-earlier quarter.

On average, analysts surveyed by FactSet Research expected New York Times to report a profit of 14 cents a share on revenue of $753.6 million.

New York Times Co. fell 8 cents to close at $19.42, but recovered from its session low of $18.54.

The shift to online consumption of news and information has greatly diminished print classified revenues across the industry in recent years. Worsening the situation are a nationwide downturn in housing sales and a shaky economy that has reduced demand for job ads.

While online revenues are rising, that growth isn't coming nearly fast enough to offset losses in print advertising and circulation.

The company said in February that the New York Times would need to cut its newsroom staff by about 100 positions. Late Tuesday, employees were notified that the paper would fall short in its goal to have most of those jobs eliminated by voluntary buyouts, meaning that there will probably be layoffs. See full story.

First-quarter revenue at the company's newspaper properties fell 5.7%, to $719.7 million.

Ad revenue fell 9.2%, while circulation revenue rose 1.9%.

Classified advertising, traditionally the prime source of revenue for newspapers, plunged 22.6%, reflecting declines in help-wanted, real estate and automotive ads, Robinson said on the earnings call.

 

Forrás: http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/new-york-times-swings-loss/story.aspx?guid=%7BE5AD7C29-19C5-4B77-AE46-B5140CB02799%7D

NYT hirdetési árbevétele csökkent az 1. negyedévben

6. New York Times CEO: Looking for more digital acquisitions

Chief Executive Janet Robinson told analysts Thursday that the company is seeking more opportunities to acquire digial properties as more readers turn to the Internet for news and information. Robinson, speaking during a conference call, was responding to a question about whether the company will be more aggressive now that it has two new board members from private equity firms that have demanded dramatic measures to stimulate New York Times Co.'s flagging stock price. "It's clear that we have been and will continue to be on a march to make sure that our portfolio is balanced in way that will increase shareholder value," Robinson said, adding that the effort includes "increasing our digital holdings." Martin Nisenholtz, the company's senior vice president of digital operations, remarked that it's "very hard" to find acquisitions that would produce the kind of cash flow needed to have a "meaningful impact" on New York Times Co.'s business

Forrás: http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/new-york-times-ceo-looking/story.aspx?guid=%7BFDC22CB4%2DF04E%2D44B2%2DAF26%2D7089F700F18B%7D

 

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