NEW YORK, N.Y. – The New York Times Co. said Thursday its fourth-quarter net income tumbled 63 per cent, hurt by comparisons with the same period a year earlier that saw a hefty one-time gain and an extra week of revenue. The company’s earnings still beat Wall Street predictions.
In early afternoon trading, Times Co.’s stock rose 52 cents, or 4 per cent, to $14.36.
Times Co. earned $65.6 million, or 41 cents per share, in the final quarter of 2013. That compared with $178.1 million, or $1.15 per share, in the same quarter of 2012.
The recent quarter’s results included $4.3 million in charges related to the settlement of pension benefits and severance costs. The year-ago quarter included a gain of $102.4 million, or 66 cents per share, on the sale of the company’s stake in the job search engine Indeed.com, which was partially offset by $32.7 million in pension, legal settlement and severance charges.
Excluding the charges, the company said it posted an adjusted fourth quarter profit from continuing operations of $96.6 million, or 26 cents per share, compared with an adjusted $110 million, or 31 cents per share, in the period a year earlier. The fourth quarter of 2012 included an extra week of operations compared with the recent quarter.
Revenue fell 5 per cent to $443.9 million from $468.1 million. But excluding the extra week in the 2012 quarter the company said its revenue rose an estimated 0.4 per cent.
Analysts, on average, expected profit of 16 cents per share on $441.2 million in revenue, according to FactSet.
Circulation revenue fell 4 per cent to $207.7 million, but excluding the extra week in 2012, Times Co. said circulation revenue rose 3 per cent to $202.2 million, helped by a boost in digital subscriptions and increases in print home-delivery prices.
Advertising revenue fell 6 per cent to $212.1 million. Excluding the extra week in 2012, advertising revenue edged down 1 per cent.
The company’s paid subscribers for digital-only subscription packages, e-readers and replica editions totalled about 760,000 at the end of the quarter, marking a 19 per cent increase from the same time a year ago.
Revenue from those customers increased 14 per cent to $39.1 million.
For the full year 2013, Times Co. earned $65.1 million, or 41 cents per share, down from $135.8 million, or 89 cents per share, in 2012. Revenue fell 1 per cent to $1.58 billion from $1.6 billion.
For the first quarter of 2014, Times Co. said it expects a “low-single-digit” increase in total circulation revenue compared with the first quarter of 2013. Advertising trends are expected to be similar to those of the fourth quarter, the company said.