New York Times beats profit estimates as subscription bundling pays off

The New York Times Co (NYT.N) topped quarterly profit estimates on Wednesday as more people signed up for its digital subscription bundle, helping offset a slowdown in advertising sales.

The publisher’s shares rose 5% as it also raised its full-year adjusted operating profit outlook to the top end of its previous estimate.

The Times has been trying to reach a wider audience and boost revenue by bundling its news offerings with cooking recipes, crossword puzzles and acquired businesses such as product review site Wirecutter and sports news site The Athletic.

The company now has more than one million subscribers who opt for all-access offerings and pay about 50% more than news subscribers, Chief Executive Meredith Kopit Levien said.

The Times added 180,000 digital-only subscribers in the third quarter and said digital subscription revenue would grow by 30% to 33% in the current quarter.

The company, a beacon for newspapers struggling for advertising dollars amid competition from tech giants such as Meta and Google, has this year turned to acquisitions such as popular internet game Wordle to boost its digital business.

Still, lower-than-expected quarterly revenue of $547.7 million showed the company was not completely shielded from a wider slowdown in ad spending.

The Times’ digital ads revenue rose marginally to $70.3 million in the quarter, but the company warned it expects ad sales to fall in the fourth quarter.

On an adjusted basis, New York Times earned 21 cents per share, compared with estimates of 13 cents, according to Refinitiv data.