Thursday, March 30, 2017

'Failing' NYTimes Shares Increase 30 Percent

President Donald Trump loves to claim that the NYTimes is "failing," but that idea needs to be fact checked, because shares of New York Times Co (NYT). are up 30% since he was elected president.

CNN Money asks, If that's a failure, what's his definition of success?

The company's stock is also up nearly 9% so far this year.

Gannett's (GCI) stock has plunged nearly 15% this year. McClatchy (MNI) is down almost 30%. And the awfully-named tronc (TRNC) (formerly Tribune Publishing) is up just 1%.

And as many others have already noted, the notion that the paper "apologized" to its readers is a Trump fantasy. The Times did admit that the outcome of the election was "unexpected." But it never, in its letter to readers in November, asked for forgiveness for any editorial lapses.

Now, to be fair to the president, it is true that the Times has fallen on hard times over the past few decades due to the massive shift in how people consume media -- and the advertising changes that have come along with the digital revolution.

Shares of the Times are trading at about two-thirds the price they were before the tech bubble burst in 2000. And the stock is more than 80% below the all-time highs it hit in the early 1980s. The company's overall ad revenue is still falling. But digital ad sales were up 11% in the fourth quarter.

And the growth in digital subscriptions has been so strong that it helped lift overall circulation revenue in the quarter, despite a decline in the sale of print editions.

The Time is morphing into a leading digital media company. And that's probably why Wall Street is more excited about its future.

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