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The New York Times Company (NYSE:NYT) announced today fourth-quarter 2016 diluted earnings per share from continuing operations of $.24 compared with diluted earnings per share of $.31 in the same period of 2015. Adjusted diluted earnings per share from continuing operations (defined below) were $.30 in the fourth quarter of 2016 compared with $.37 in the fourth quarter of 2015.
Operating profit decreased to $55.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 from $87.7 million in the same period of 2015. The decline was largely driven by a pension settlement charge, lower print advertising revenues and higher costs, which were partially offset by higher circulation revenues. Adjusted operating profit (defined below) was $95.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 compared with $117.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2015.
For the full year of 2016, the Company had an operating profit of $101.6 million compared with $136.6 million in 2015, with the decrease mainly driven by lower print advertising revenue and higher costs. Adjusted operating profit in 2016 was $240.9 million compared with $289.0 million in 2015.
“The continued excellence of our journalism and our consumer-first focus led to incredible strength in our circulation business, both in the fourth quarter and for the full year,” said Mark Thompson, president and chief executive officer, The New York Times Company. “As of today, we have passed the 3 million paid subscription mark (print and digital), a significant milestone.
“In Q4, we added 276,000 net new digital news subscriptions, the single best quarter since 2011, the year the pay model launched. With the rate of growth accelerating over the past year, we believe that there is further opportunity to significantly extend our subscription reach, both in the U.S. and around the world.
“As we said we would, we returned to double-digit digital advertising growth in the second half of 2016. In Q4, we were up 11 percent year-over-year from solid performances in smartphone, marketing services, branded content and programmatic advertising, with growth in these businesses more than making up for stress on the legacy parts of digital advertising. We continue to experience significant headwinds in print advertising, but the robustness of our consumer business, which we expect will continue, provides a strong counter balance to these market challenges. We will remain focused on our legacy cost base while continuing to invest in digital growth and innovation.”