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New York Times reports steep drop in earnings

The New York Times Co. reported sharply lower earnings for its third quarter Wednesday, despite higher revenues, due to higher costs and a charge related to staff reductions.
/ Source: The Associated Press

The New York Times Co. reported sharply lower earnings for its third quarter Wednesday, despite higher revenues, due to higher costs and a charge related to staff reductions.

The company, which publishes The Boston Globe and The International Herald Tribune in addition to its flagship newspaper, earned $23.1 million, or 16 cents a share, in the July-September period, down from $48.3 million, or 33 cents a share, in the comparable period a year ago.

The results for the latest quarter include a pretax charge of $12.4 million, equivalent to 5 cents per share after tax, for costs related to staff reductions announced earlier this year.

Revenues rose 2.2 percent to $791.1 million versus $773.8 million. Excluding the addition of About.com, an Internet company it acquired, revenues rose 0.4 percent.

The results came in ahead of the company’s previously reduced estimates for third-quarter earnings. Last month the company said it expected earnings of 11 cents to 14 cents per share.

The company also said it would take an additional total charge of $35 million to $45 million over the next three quarters, beginning in the fourth quarter of this year, for another staff reduction program it announced last month.

Janet Robinson, the CEO of the Times, said in a statement that the Times saw improved advertising growth in September, but overall the advertising market in the third quarter remained “challenging.”

Total costs rose 8.2 percent in the quarter, the company said. But excluding costs related to staff reductions, its acquisition of About.com, and stock-based compensation, expenses rose 4.6 percent in the quarter, due to higher distribution and printing expenses, higher costs for compensation and promotion.