Good news/ bad news

By Chris Daly

The latest financial results from the New York Times Co. present another mixed bag. Overall, the company continues to struggle, for familiar reasons: advertising from printing the newspaper continues to decline.

On the bright side, though, the company is making headway in figuring out how to make money on the Web. Today’s Boston Globe carries a story — never an easy or welcome assignment, to write about the owners.

The key parts:

Digital advertising revenues at the News Media Group increased 5.3 percent to $71.1 million due to growth in national and retail display advertising.

And this:

Subscribers to digital packages and e-reader versions of The Times and the International Herald Tribune totaled approximately 390,000 as of the end of the fourth quarter, an increase of 20 percent from the third quarter.

So, the trends are good, but the scale of online advertising is still not enough to float a company that had total revenues of $2.3 billion last year. Look for the Times Co. to sell off more of its assets in order to protect the flagship.

Latest stock price: $7.70 a share

All-time high:       $51.88 a share (July 2002)

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