What happened

Shares of The New York Times (NYT 1.28%) couldn't keep up with a booming market last month. The stock fell 10% in April compared to a 5.2% spike in the S&P 500, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The decline put the media specialist in negative territory so far in 2021, and shares are also trailing the market's 40% gain over the past full year.

Person holding a tablet and a coffee cup

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Investors were worried that the company might have some sluggish growth to announce in its early May earnings release. While the Times has reported big subscriber gains during the pandemic, consumer trends could be shifting away from digital media consumption over the short term. Those concerns likely pushed the stock lower in early 2021.

Now what

The May report did show slowing growth, and the company predicted a weaker expansion path for the rest of 2021. Yet the Times is still forecasting rising subscriptions following last year's record run, with improving profitability due to strong advertising rates.

Those gains might be enough to produce continued positive returns for investors, even if the customer base expands more slowly over the next few quarters.