New York Times
The company now expects second-quarter earnings between $0.38 and $0.42 per share, down from last year's second-quarter EPS of $0.50. Calling the ad market "uneven," the company also decreased its ad-revenue target for the full year, from a mid-single-digit increase to a low- to mid-single-digit gain. It also released May revenue figures.
It's no secret that the newspaper industry faces a variety of challenges these days. Arguably, most of the troubles are due to digital disruption, though some might cite other problems. The result is the same.
Earlier this week, I wrote about Knight Ridder's
New York Times has been in the news in recent months because of its struggles. Recent, well-publicized job reductions will result in a severance charge that will affect the upcoming second quarter to the tune of $0.04 per share. (Stock compensation charges will account for another $0.02-per-share deduction.) There will be an additional charge related to workforce reductions in the following quarter.
Given the challenges at hand, such companies need to get creative, and New York Times is no exception. Its digital side is considered quite successful, even though it's free. But the company recently came up with an idea to augment its free digital content with some subscription-only premium fare, in hopes of squeezing some additional revenue from its loyalists.
Investors didn't take the news too hard, considering that shares of New York Times were up 2.18% in recent trading. However, when you take a look at this chart of the stock's performance over the past year, you see that negativity has been the headline for quite some time.
Sure, maybe its trailing-12-month P/E of 14 causes some investors to wonder whether New York Times is approaching bargain territory. Of course, that's looking backwards, not into the future. Considering the industry's malaise, it seems to me that anyone taking that approach is undergoing a calculated risk for the time being.
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Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned.