New York Times posts stronger-than-expected earnings with digital revenue topping subscription revenue again

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New York Times Co. shares rose 3.1% in premarket trade Thursday, after the newspaper group posted stronger-than-expected third-quarter earnings with digital revenue exceeding print revenue for a second straight quarter. The company posted net income of $33.6 million, or 20 cents a share, for the quarter, up from $16.4 million, or 10 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted per-share earnings came to 22 cents, or double the 11 cents FactSet consensus. Revenue edged down to $426.9 million from $428.5 million, but beat the $412.0 million FactSet consensus. The company ended the quarter with 6.9 million total subscriptions and crossed the 7 million mark in October, up 2 million in the past year. “The news cycle certainly played a role, but as we are increasingly seeing with each passing quarter, so too did the breadth of our coverage and our improving ability to mean more to more people,” Chief Executive Meredith Kopit Levien said in a statement. Digital ad revenue fell 12.6% in the quarter, while print ad revenue was down 46.5%. The company is now expecting total subscription revenue to climb about 14% in the fourth quarter, with digital-only subscription revenue expected to rise about 35%. Total ad revenues are expected to fall about 30%, with digital ad revenue expected to fall in the mid-teens, mostly due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Shares have gained 29% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 6.6%.

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