The New York Times Co. shares gained 3.5% in premarket trade on Wednesday after the media company reported improved first-quarter earnings that were better than Wall Street expected. Net income for the quarter came in at $13.18 million, or 8 cents per share, that's after a loss of $8.27 million, or 5 cents during the same period a year ago. Adjusted earnings were 11 cents per share, above the FactSet consensus of 7 cents. Revenue for the quarter hit $398.80 million, compared with $379.52 million in the year-earlier period. FactSet had forecast revenue would hit $382.00 million. The New York Times saw circulation revenue increase 11.2%, while advertising revenue fell 6.9%. The company said revenue from print advertising was down 17.9% in the quarter while digital advertising revenue rose 18.9%. Digital advertising accounted for 38.2% of the company's total advertising revenue. "These results show the current strength and future potential of our digital strategy not just to reach a large audience, but also to deliver substantial revenue," said New York Times Chief Executive Mark Thompson in a statement. "Despite continued pressure on print advertising, we were able to grow overall revenues by 5% in the quarter." The New York Times said it expects digital-only subscriptions to slow compared to previous quarters and it expects total advertising revenue to decrease in the low- to mid-single digits. Shares of the New York Times Co. have increased 7.5% in the year so far and 14.9% over the course of the last 12 months. By comparison, the S&P 500 index has gained 6.8% in the year to date and 15.9% in the prior 12 months.
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