New York Times beats estimates on digital subscriber growth

February 6, 2019

(Reuters) – The New York Times Co reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue on Wednesday, as it signed up almost 9 percent more digital subscribers in just three months.

The company’s digital advertising revenue rose 22.8 percent to $103.4 million in the fourth quarter, while print advertising revenue fell 10.2 percent.

Subscription revenue from the company’s digital-only subscription products, which allow access to news, as well as its sought-after daily crossword puzzles and cooking recipes, rose 9.3 percent to $105.3 million.

The Times said it added 265,000 number of total digital subscribers in the quarter, compared with the 157,000 subscribers a year earlier.

Online subscriptions have become crucial to the Times’ future as companies increasingly take their ad dollars to digital platforms and away from print.

Net income attributable to shareholders was $55.2 million, or 33 cents per share, from a net loss of $56.8 million, or 35 cents per share, a year earlier, when the company booked one-time charges related to tax reform and pension settlements.

Total revenue rose to $502.7 million from $484.1 million a year earlier, which included an additional week.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned 32 cents per share from continuing operations.

Analysts on average estimated a profit of 28 cents per share and revenue of $477.1 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

(Reporting by Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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