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NY Times' (NYT) Digitization Efforts Help Drive Stock 55% YTD

Zacks Equity Research

The New York Times Company’s NYT concerted efforts to lower dependency on traditional advertising and focus on digitization have led the shares of this news and information provider to march ahead of the industry. So far in the year, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock has surged roughly 55.5% compared with the industry’s growth of 34.6%. Industry experts believe that the company’s persistent endeavors to rapidly acclimatize to the changing face of the multiplatform media universe will help the stock to retain momentum.

Changing consumer preferences and innovative technologies have altered the way in which news is offered and consumed. Readers’ preference for accessing news online, mostly free, has made the industry’s print-advertising model increasingly redundant. We note that The New York Times Company’s print advertising revenue fell 11.9% in the first quarter of 2019, following a decline of 10.2% in the preceding quarter.

As readers started thronging the Internet for news, advertisers followed suit, and so did the newspaper companies. Trimmed print operations paved the way for online publications that led to the development of a pay-and-read model, as adopted by The New York Times Company.


A Brief Introspection of NYT

The New York Times Company has been contemplating new avenues of revenue generation in a bid to counter dwindling print advertising revenues. Rapid digitization in the core areas of advertising, subscriptions and sales, printing, and distribution services has turned out to be a major source of revenues.

Notably, the number of paid digital subscribers reached 3,583,000 at the end of first quarter of 2019 — rising 223,000 sequentially and 28.7% year over year. Subscription revenue grew 3.9% principally due to increase in the number of subscriptions to the company’s digital-only products. Revenue from digital-only subscriptions products jumped 15.1%.

Management had earlier projected total subscription revenue in the second quarter to increase in the low to mid-single digits, while digital-only subscription revenue likely to rise in the mid-teens. The company has set a goal to reach more than 10 million subscriptions by 2025. The New York Times Company is not only gearing up to become an optimum destination for news and information but is also focusing on service journalism, with verticals like Cooking, Watching and Well.

In this regard, it acquired The Wirecutter and its sister site, The Sweethome that recommends technology gear, home products and other consumer services. The company also acquired a digital marketing agency and portfolio company, HelloSociety, from Science Inc. The buyout complements its T Brand Studio that helps in creating digital ad innovation and branded content. Further, it launched digital subscriptions for NYT Cooking, its popular recipe site and app.

The New York Times Company is diversifying business, adding new revenue streams, strengthening balance sheet and restructuring portfolio. It offloaded assets in order to re-focus on its core newspapers and pay more attention to online activities. Other publishing companies such as New Media Investment Group Inc. NEWM, Gannett Co., Inc. GCI and The McClatchy Company MNI are also trying to adapt to different ways of revenue generation.

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The New York Times Company (NYT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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