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paidContent - Earnings: NYTCo Operating Profits Fall 42 Percent

This story was written by David Kaplan.
Despite all the financial moves the New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT) made in Q2, it wasn’t enough to stem the tide of declining profits and revenues. While both operating profit (down 42.2 percent to $23.3 million from $40.3 million in Q208) and revenues (down 21 percent to $584.5 million from $741.9 million) fell dramatically, EPS was up 85 percent. In a statement, NYTCo President and CEO Janet Robinson noted that the company reduced its debt by roughly $45 million, and pointed to the recent sale of its New York City classical-radio station (also for $45 million), and hopes for a potential sale of the company’s stake in New England Sports Ventures. The company also said it reduced operating costs by 20 percent.

The NYTCo’s total internet revenues fell 14.3 percent to $78.2 million, as online ad dollars slipped 15.5 percent to $68 million. In all, online accounted for 13.4 percent of the Companys revenues in the second quarter versus 12.3 percent for the same period last year.

2Q 20092Q 2008Analysts Estimates For 2009
EPS $0.27 $0.15 -$0.04
Net Income $39.1M $21.1M
Revenue $584.5M $741.9M $603.05M

Earnings release | Webcast (11:00 AM EDT)

—Summing up the last six months on the web side, the NYTCo’s internet revenues plunged 10.1 percent to $156.5 million from $174.1 million in the same period of 2008, with online advertising decreasing 11.1 percent to $135.6 million from $152.5 million.

—While circ revs grew a slight 1.5 percent thanks to newsstand and subscription price hikes for all its newspapers, including the NYT and the particularly troubled The Boston Globe, advertising revenues decreased 30.2 percent. Turning to particular segments, total revs for the News Media Group slumped 21.9 percent to $557.3 million as the unit’s operating profit dropped 53 percent to $20.9 million. Those troubles at the News Media segment didn’t leave online untouched either, as web-based ad revenues for the group dropped 21.6 percent in Q2 to $42.1 million from $53.7 million.

—At the About Group, which includes past acquisitions like Calorie Count and UCompareHealthCare in addition to the guide site, the once robust segment saw revenues decline 5.1 percent to $27.1 million from $28.6 million. The blame was pinned on lower display ad sales. Although the unit has been turning to cost-per-click advertising, which the company said is trending higher, it wasn’t enough to balance out display’s declines. Still cost-control has had some positive affects on the About Group, as operating profit rose 12.2 percent to $10.2 million from $9.1 million, while expenses dropped 13.2 percent to $16.9 million.

By David Kaplan

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