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Time Inc’s results hurt by falling print advertising, subscription revenue

February 12, 2015, 12:29 PM UTC
Students Continue To Protest In Hong Kong Following Negotiation Talks
HONG KONG - OCTOBER 22: Pro-democracy protester watches a cover photo of Time magazine about Hong Kong protest event on his cellphone on a street in Mongkok district on October 22, 2014 in Hong Kong. Police have begun to take measures to remove the blockades put in place by pro-democracy supporters, as protests entered a fourth week. (Photo by Kong Ng/Getty Images)
Photograph by Kong Ng — Getty Images

Time Inc, the largest magazine publisher in the United States, reported quarterly results that fell short of analysts’ estimates, hurt by falling circulation and advertising revenue.

The publisher of the Fortune, Sports Illustrated and Time magazines also forecast a 3-6 percent decline in revenue for the year.

The forecast implies revenue of $3.08-$3.18 billion for the full year, well below the average analyst estimate of $3.24 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Time (TIME), which was spun off from Time Warner Inc last June, has been severely hit by declining circulation and advertising revenue as consumers shift to reading on smartphones and tablets.

Most publishers, including Time, have been cutting costs, slashing their workforce and beefing up digital services.

The New York Times (NYT) last week posted quarterly revenue ahead of estimates as higher digital subscription and advertising sales largely balanced a fall in print ad revenue.

Time’s total advertising revenue fell 8.1% to $496 million in the fourth quarter, despite an uptick in digital advertising.

The company, which publishes more than 90 titles and operates 45 websites, gets more than half of its revenue from advertising.

Circulation revenue, which includes subscription and newsstand sales, also fell about 8% to $288 million.

Time said it kick-started a restructuring plan in fourth quarter that resulted in a pre-tax charge of $28 million, aimed at headcount reductions and other efforts.

The company’s total revenue fell 7.3% to $895 million missing analysts’ average estimate of $904.3 million.

Net income more than doubled to $145 million, or $1.32 per share, from $66 million, or 61 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, it earned 73 cents per share missing analysts’ expectations of 78 cents per share.