What happened

Shares of The New York Times Co. (NYSE:NYT) shot higher on Wednesday, rising as much as 12.9% as of 1:19 p.m. EST.

The stock's gain follows the company's fourth-quarter and full-year results, which featured better-than-expected revenue and earnings per share. In addition, a dividend increase and management's new subscriber target are likely encouraging to investors.

A businessman looking at his smartphone in the back of a cab.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

The New York Times reported revenue of $502.7 million, up 3.8% from $484.1 million in the year-ago quarter. On average, analysts had expected revenue of about $480 million. Excluding the impact of an additional week in the fourth quarter of 2017, revenue rose 10% year over year.

The company's adjusted earnings per share for the period were $0.32, down from $0.38 in the year-ago quarter but ahead of a consensus analyst forecast for $0.28.

The company also announced it was increasing its quarterly dividend by 25%, from $0.04 to $0.05.

The New York Times added 265,000 new digital subscribers during the quarter, easily beating the 203,000 digital subscribers added in the third quarter of 2018.

Now what

The company laid out an ambitious goal to grow its subscribers from 4.3 million today to 10 million by 2025.

CEO Mark Thompson explained:

We ended 2018 with $709 million in total digital revenue. This means that after just three years, we are already three quarters of the way to achieving our five-year goal of doubling digital revenue to $800 million by 2020. As a result we are setting ourselves a new goal -- to grow our subscription business to more than 10 million subscriptions by 2025.

Check out the latest The New York Times earnings call transcript.