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New York Times Co. reports loss for 2nd quarter, says it has 224,000 digital subscribers
NEW YORK (AP) ' The New York Times Co. said Thursday that it had a net loss in the second quarter, resulting from an accounting adjustment it made for the declining value of some of its smaller newspapers. During the same period, 224,000 people signed up for full access to its flagship newspaper's website, the company said.
The company's stock increased nearly 3 percent in midday trading Thursday.
The Times Co., which publishes The New York Times and 17 other daily newspapers, lost $120 million, or 81 cents per share, compared with earnings of $32 million, or 21 cents per share, a year earlier.
The company earned 14 cents per share after excluding the non-cash accounting charge of 93 cents per share and a charge related to its pension obligations at The Boston Globe. That's better than the 10 cents that analysts who were polled by FactSet expected.
Revenue fell 2 percent to $577 million, close to analyst expectations of $581 million.
Like other newspaper publishers, the Times Co. faces declines in print advertising revenue because of a weak economy and a migration of advertisers to free or cheaper alternatives online.
Growth in digital revenue has yet to make up for those declines in print, though the company is trying to balance that by requiring a paid subscription to read more than 20 stories per month at the Times' website. The new fees range from $15 to $35 every four weeks for readers who don't already subscribe to the Times, the third-largest U.S. newspaper.
After a trial-run in Canada, the subscription policy took effect at the start of the quarter. As of June 26, the day the quarter ended, the Times had 224,000 digital subscribers. Janet L. Robinson, the company's president and CEO, said the consumer response has been positive.
"The digital subscription model is a long-term effort, and its full impact on revenues will be more evident over the course of the year as we progress past the early stages of the plan," she said in a statement. "Our ability to further monetize our digital content will provide us with a significant new revenue stream in the second half of this year."
Revenue from digital advertising across the company's online properties, including the Times website and About.com, rose nearly 3 percent to $84.6 million. But including print, advertising overall fell 4 percent to $302 million.
The results lifted the company's stock 26 cents, or 2.9 percent, to $9.23 in midday trading Thursday.