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New York Times Earnings Dip

April 14, 1999

NEW YORK (AP) _ The New York Times Co.’s net earnings dipped in the first quarter as the company spent more on a national expansion of its flagship newspaper.

But earnings per share edged higher due to a share buyback program, the company announced Wednesday.

The New York Times reported net income of $61.4 million in the first three months of 1999, down 5 percent from $64.6 million in the same period a year ago. The year-ago figure included a one-time gain of $4.6 million from the sale of equipment.

Earnings per share rose to 34 cents from 33 cents because of a stock repurchase program which decreased the number of New York Times shares in circulation.

The per-share figures were in line with Wall Street expectations. In midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange, the company’s shares rose 81 1/4 cents or 3 percent to $30.75.

Despite a 3 percent decline in newsprint costs, the company’s total costs rose 2.9 percent in the quarter due to higher wages and salaries and costs associated with a national expansion of The New York Times newspaper.

Overall revenues increased 2.3 percent to $739.1 million from $722.6 million.

Newspaper operations, which make up most of the company’s business, had revenue growth of 3.2 percent due mainly to higher advertising rates and volume at The New York Times newspaper and the company’s regional papers.

Performance at The Boston Globe was weaker due to continued slackness in help wanted ads.

Weekday net paid circulation for The New York Times newspaper rose 2.2 percent from the same period last year to 1.13 million, and Sunday circulation rose 3 percent to 1.71 million.

In addition to its two main newspapers, the company also publishes 21 regional newspapers and three magazines including Golf Digest. It owns eight network-affiliated TV stations and two New York City radio stations.

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