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VOL. 38 | NO. 6 | Friday, February 07, 2014

New York Times 4Q net income tumbles

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NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Times Co. said Thursday its fourth-quarter net income tumbled 63 percent, 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 percent, 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 percent 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 percent.

Analysts, on average, expected profit of 16 cents per share on $441.2 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

Circulation revenue fell 4 percent to $207.7 million, but excluding the extra week in 2012, Times Co. said circulation revenue rose 3 percent to $202.2 million, helped by a boost in digital subscriptions and increases in print home-delivery prices.

Advertising revenue fell 6 percent to $212.1 million. Excluding the extra week in 2012, advertising revenue edged down 1 percent.

The company's paid subscribers for digital-only subscription packages, e-readers and replica editions totaled about 760,000 at the end of the quarter, marking a 19 percent increase from the same time a year ago.

Revenue from those customers increased 14 percent 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 percent 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.

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