The New York Times Co. said Wednesday that fourth-quarter earnings plunged 48 percent and online sales fell for the first time as the recession depressed spending by advertisers. The results still beat analyst estimates, and its shares rose nearly 10 percent.It really was a banner year fore the old gray hag.
The Times also announced it has retained investment firm Goldman Sachs to help explore a sale of its 17.8 percent stake in New England Sports Ventures, which owns the Boston Red Sox baseball team, Fenway Park, a portion of a cable sports network and other properties.
The Times company, which publishes the Times, The Boston Globe, the International Herald Tribune and 16 other daily newspapers, earned $27.6 million, or 19 cents a share, in the October-December period, compared with $53 million, or 37 cents per share, in the same quarter of 2007.
For the full year, the Times reported a net loss of $57.8 million, or 40 cents a share, compared with net income of $208.7 million, or $1.45 per share, in 2007. Sales fell 7.7 percent to $2.95 billion.Such rousing success recently earned them Moody's junk status.