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NY Times forecasts further decline in print ad revenue

By Jennifer Saba

(Reuters) - The New York Times Co reported a dip in second-quarter revenue as print advertising revenue erased the previous quarter's rise, and the company expects print ad revenue to continue to decline in the future.

Shares of the company dropped almost 6 percent to $13.30 during Tuesday morning trading after the results were released.

Total revenue declined less than 1 percent to $388.7 million compared to the prior-year quarter, mainly on a 7 percent drop in print advertising. Total revenue fell below analysts' expectations of $390.5 million.

The company warned that advertising revenue in the third quarter is expected to decrease in the "mid-single digits" and circulation revenue - once on a growth streak - is forecast to be flat.

In the first quarter, the Times said its print and digital advertising revenue rose, snapping a dry spell that lasted several years.

The flagship newspaper focused on ramping up its digital advertising and getting more people to pay for its digital products. In the second quarter, digital advertising revenue and circulation revenue increased 3.4 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively, but not enough to boost overall revenue.

Subscription revenue rose because of new digital products that the company rolled out including the NYT Now app, which accounted for most of the increase.

But Chief Executive Mark Thompson noted in a statement that the Times needs to jump-start growth in digital subscriptions. "We still have more work to do to transform our business and deliver long-term sustainable revenue growth," he said.

Thompson added that over the next several months the company will "refine some of the offers" for its digital products.

Paid subscribers to the company's digital-only products totaled 831,000 as of the second quarter, an increase of 32,000 subscribers from the prior quarter.

Net income attributable to common stockholders fell to $9.2 million, or 6 cents per share, from $20.1 million, or 13 cents per share a year earlier.

(Reporting by Jennifer Saba in New York and Abhirup Roy in Bangalore; Editing by Ted Kerr and Phil Berlowitz)

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