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Time Inc. Beats Earnings Expectations, Revenue and Profit Shrink as Print Continues to Decline

Media company announces sale of its Blue Fin building in U.K. £415 million

Time Inc. (TIME) reported its third quarter earnings on Thursday, beating Wall Street expectations thanks to strong digital advertising growth but seeing a 5.8 percent drop in revenue year-over-year along with a profit loss of $913 million.

The media company delivered $0.32 per share on revenue of $773 million, beating Wall Street expectations $0.27 per share on revenue of $769 million. But revenue fell from $821 million year-over-year.

Time Inc. announced the sale of its Blue Fin building in the U.K. for £415 million ($634 million). The company’s Board of Directors announced stock buybacks of up to $300 million along with debt repayments of up to $200 million contingent on the Blue Fin sale.

The company saw a profit loss of $913 million compared to a gain of $48 million at the same time last year. The significant loss came as a result of a goodwill impairment charge from a recent decline in the company’s share price during Q3 along with ongoing negative trends in advertising and circulation revenues.

The Blue Fin building also contributed to the charge as its fair value was significantly higher than its carrying value.

Digital advertising revenue grew 22 percent year over year to $79 million, up $14 million. Strong video growth and programmatic sales helped boost ad revenue. September was a strong month as 116 million multiplatform unique visitors went to Time Inc.’s digital properties.

But digital growth didn’t offset offset declines in print and other advertising, which dropped 12 percent to $319 million.

“Time Inc. is building capabilities and new revenue opportunities in the fastest growing areas of media including video, native, live media, data and programmatic,” CEO Joe Ripp said.

“We are expanding our world-class brands, premium content and deeply engaged audiences into new revenue streams. We are aggressively moving the company forward to build the world’s most influential media network.”

On the company’s earnings call, Ripp said Time Inc will remain as one of the multiple tenant’s in the Blue Fin building after its sale. He explained the sale, saying real estate management is not core to the company’s business portfolio.