NY Times Revenues Down, Profit Up

The NY Times Co. announced earnings today, revenues are down but the quarter was profitable:

The New York Times Company announced today second-quarter 2009 operating profit of $23.3 million compared with $40.3 million in the second quarter of 2008. Excluding depreciation, amortization, severance and a pension charge as noted below, operating profit was $66.1 million in the second quarter of 2009 compared with$100.5 million in the second quarter last year.

In the second quarter earnings per share were $.27 compared with earnings per share of $.15 in the second quarter of 2008 . .

Total revenues decreased 21.2 percent to $584.5 million from $741.9 million primarily due to lower print and online advertising. Advertising revenues decreased 30.2 percent; circulation revenues rose 1.5 percent

Internet businesses include NYTimes.com, About.com, Boston.com and other Company Web sites. Total Internet revenues decreased 14.3 percent to $78.2 million from $91.3 million, and Internet advertising revenues declined 15.5 percent to $68.0 million from $80.5 million. Internet advertising revenues at the News Media Group decreased 21.6 percent to $42.1 million from$53.7 million. In total, Internet businesses accounted for 13.4 percent of the Company’s revenues in the second quarter versus 12.3 percent in the 2008 second quarter.

There was a profit of $39.1 million vs. $21.1 million a year ago.

Is this good news? Or is it simply effective cost containment amid declining ad revenues, which can be expected to continue to decline? There are clearly half-empty, half full competing interpretations running around this morning. As of this hour, shares are up however:

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