Newspaper publishers get boost as ad market improves
New York Times, McClatchy shares rise as companies update their outlook
By David B. Wilkerson, MarketWatch
Last Update: 1:23 PM ET Dec 8, 2009
CHICAGO (MarketWatch) -- The New York Times Co. and McClatchy Co. saw their stocks rise Tuesday after the two newspaper publishers said they are seeing improvements in the advertising market.
Shares of the New York Times were up 1.3% to 9.02 by early afternoon. McClatchy shares jumped more than 18% to 3.10.
Both companies issued statements ahead of planned presentations at the UBS Global Media & Communications Conference. The New York Times NYT said it expects fourth-quarter advertising revenue to drop 25%, but said online ad sales are picking up momentum.
"While the print advertising market remains very challenging, trends have improved modestly as the quarter progressed," CEO Janet Robinson said in a statement.
Third-quarter ad revenue had declined by 27%, and by 30% in the second quarter. Online ad revenue is expected to rise by about 10%, the company said. As recently as the second quarter, total online revenue at the company dropped 14%.
For the year, New York Times Co. expects total debt to be about 800 million, down from 1.1 billion at the end of 2008.
Robinson also said the company has completed its strategic review of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, and has decided to keep the newspaper.
Also Tuesday, newspaper publisher McClatchy MNI said fourth-quarter advertising revenue is expected to drop in the low- to mid-20s percent range, compared to a 28.1% drop in the third quarter and a 30.2% drop in the second quarter.
Cash expenses will fall in the high-20s percent range, and operating cash flow is expected to grow both in the quarter and in 2010.