The New York Times announced its Q4 earnings on Thursday, and shareholders learned that advertising revenue is still down, but subscription revenue is up.
The company reported that advertising revenue continued to decline and is down 10.7% compared to the fourth quarter of 2018. However, the Times touted that news product subscription revenue continued to rise: Digital-only subscription revenue is up 13.7% from the fourth quarter of 2018. Ultimately, the Times reported that it added over one million digital-only subscribers throughout 2019, setting a record for its largest increase ever. Subscription revenue was up 4.5% in the fourth quarter as a result.
Diluted earnings per share for the quarter are at $0.41, which is up 24.2% from the fourth quarter last year. In 2018, fourth-quarter diluted earnings per share were $0.33. Analysts were predicting earnings per share to sit around $0.29.
In a statement Thursday morning, Mark Thompson, president and chief executive officer of the New York Times Company, said, “2019 was a record setting year for The New York Times’s digital subscription business, the best since the Company launched digital subscriptions almost nine years ago.”
He attributed that to “the extraordinary work of Times journalists around the world and also to the radically different way that we’re running digital operations at the company, with cross-disciplinary teams who enjoy significant autonomy and access to the machine learning, engineering and testing capabilities they need to move our business forward.”