New York Times issues soft earnings, plans “new strategy for growth”

The New York Times Company(s nyt) posted its latest earnings on Thursday morning, and the results show the company moving forward at a plodding pace. Its earnings per share came in at $0.04, excluding special items, which was slightly below the $0.05 analysts had predicted. Operating profit for the quarter was $22.9 million.

Overall advertising declined 11.2 percent — 13 percent in print and 4 precent in digital — from the same quarter a year ago, while circulation revenues rose 6.2%. As in previous quarters, the company did not break out how much of this increase was the result of digital income versus increases in the price of its print products.

The Times’ total number of digital subscribers, a figure closely watched by investors and media observers, rose from 668,000 to 708,000 across the company. This number includes totals from the International Herald Tribune and soon-to-be-sold Boston Globe.

The company also announced a “new strategy for growth,” in which CEO Mark Thompson says the Times will begin offering lower-priced products to attract a broader paying audience. The release suggests the company will begin breaking out certain speciality segments like food and travel as standalone paid offerings. A few bullets:

  • “A lower-priced paid product designed to allow access to The Times’s most important and interesting stories in a convenient, media-rich package for consumers looking for an efficient way to stay informed.”
  • “Other new products, also at lower price points, that would offer deep access and additional content and other new features in specific content areas such as politics, technology, opinion, the arts and food.”

The Times will discuss the results and the new strategy on an 11:00 AM ET earnings call. We will post highlights from the call.