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The New York Times Co. (NYT) Tops Q1 EPS by 7c

May 6, 2020 7:07 AM EDT

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The New York Times Co. (NYSE: NYT) reported Q1 EPS of $0.17, $0.07 better than the analyst estimate of $0.10. Revenue for the quarter came in at $443.6 million versus the consensus estimate of $441.07 million.

Mark Thompson, president and chief executive officer, The New York Times Company, said, “The New York Times is committed to delivering the most trustworthy news and useful guidance about the coronavirus and its consequences. Today, despite the many obstacles our newsroom is facing, we believe we are doing just that.

“Some of our colleagues are witnessing and recording this terrible tragedy firsthand in hospitals and other hazardous environments. We are doing everything we can to keep them safe, but they - and the patients and health workers they are covering - are constantly in our thoughts. Indeed, we’re grateful to everyone at The Times for all their hard work and commitment during this difficult period.

“The Times’s business model, with its growing focus on digital subscription growth and diminishing reliance on advertising, is very well positioned to ride out this storm and thrive in a post-pandemic world. We’ve seen historic audience levels and an unprecedented rate of subscriber growth as well as real pressure on advertising revenue.

“In the first quarter, we added 587,000 net new digital subscriptions, resulting in the highest number of net new subscriptions in a quarter in our history. This was despite the fact that we are allowing audiences to access the majority of our coverage related to the coronavirus outside of our pay model. Of the 587,000 net adds, 468,000 were to our core news product, with 119,000 to our other digital products. As of the end of April, The Times now has more than four million subscriptions to our digital-only news product; more than five million digital-only subscriptions in all; and more than six million total subscriptions across digital and print.

“We saw advertising fall rapidly towards the end of the quarter and believe that advertising in the second quarter will fall between 50% and 55% compared to a year ago with limited visibility beyond that. Nonetheless, we believe that the Company will emerge from this global crisis with a distinctive and valuable advertising revenue stream to complement a digital news subscription business which is now by far the largest and most successful in the world. The revenue from those subscriptions - and our strong balance sheet - give us real confidence, not just that we can remain financially sound through the pandemic, but also that we can safely invest in our digital growth strategy and continue to hire new talent to help execute it.

“This week Times journalism was rewarded with three Pulitzer prizes. The world needs that journalism today more than ever. We believe we have the loyal readers and the right business model to ensure that we can continue to provide it.”

GUIDANCE:

Total subscription revenues in the second quarter of 2020 are expected to increase in the mid- to high-single digits compared with the second quarter of 2019, with digital-only subscription revenue expected to increase in the high-twenties.

Total advertising revenues in the second quarter of 2020 are expected to decline approximately 50 percent to 55 percent compared with the second quarter of 2019, with digital advertising revenue expected to decrease approximately 40 percent to 45 percent, largely due to the impact from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other revenues in the second quarter of 2020 are expected to decrease approximately 10 percent compared with the second quarter of 2019.

Operating costs and adjusted operating costs in the second quarter of 2020 are expected to be flat or to decrease in the low-single digits compared with the second quarter of 2019 as the Company defers non-essential spending while continuing to invest in the drivers of digital subscription growth.

The Company expects the following on a pre-tax basis in 2020:

  • Depreciation and amortization: approximately $60 million,
  • Interest income and other, net: $18 million to $22 million, and
  • Capital expenditures: approximately $50 million.

Our outlook is based on our current knowledge and assumptions and could be impacted by the evolving COVID-19 pandemic.

For earnings history and earnings-related data on The New York Times Co. (NYT) click here.



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