What happened

Shares of The New York Times Company (NYT 1.99%), publisher of the namesake newspaper, took a hit on Wednesday, falling as much as 19.6%. As of 11:30 a.m. EDT, however, shares were down about 14%.

The stock's decline follows The New York Times' second-quarter earnings release. Likely prompting the slide was a top-line figure that came in lower than expected. In addition, guidance for digital advertising revenue to decrease in Q3 may have spooked some investors.

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

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

The New York Times posted second-quarter revenue of $436.3 million, up 5.2% year over year. This figure missed analysts' average estimate for revenue of $438.7 million.

Growth in The New York Times' revenue came despite an 8% year-over-year decrease in print advertising. This was because more strong growth in the company's digital subscriptions and digital advertising helped offset this headwind in print. Second-quarter digital advertising revenue increased 13.7%, and digital subscription revenue rose 14.1%.

The news company's adjusted earnings per share of $0.17 were flat compared to the year-ago quarter but ahead of analysts' consensus forecast for $0.15.

Now what

Looking to Q3, management said it expected its digital subscription revenue to continue to increase at a year-over-year rate in the mid-teens. But the company forecast digital advertising revenue to decrease at a rate "in the high-single digits" during the period.

"We expect a more challenging second half of 2019 in digital advertising revenue as a result of comparisons against strong performance in the same period in 2018," management explained in the earnings release.