Shares of The New York Times Company (NYT - Analyst Report) reached a new 52-week high of $11.07 on Jun 27, 2013. This diversified media conglomerate eventually closed trade at $10.88, recording a year-to-date return of 24.8%. Average volume of shares traded over the last 3 months was approximately 1,532K. Moreover, the company currently trades at a forward P/E of 26.9x, a substantial premium to the industry average of 16.6x.
The company has been adding diverse revenue streams – such as a pay-and-read model for NYTimes.com– to make it less susceptible to economic downturns. The New York Times Company is also adapting to the changing face of the multiplatform media universe, which currently includes mobile, social media networks and reader application products in its portfolio. The company wishes to launch a lower priced as well as premium subscription based model to cater to the various tastes of the masses. Furthermore, it intends focus on online video production and brand extension as well.
The New York Times Company is taking long strides to include more readers under the ambit of its subscription based model. In connection to this, recently, the company announced that Jun 27 onwards, mobile app users will be able to access a maximum of three articles per day from over 25 sections, blogs and slideshows, before having to subscribe.
Another media conglomerate, News Corporation (NWSA - Analyst Report) has also moved toward an online subscription based model for general news content. News International, a subsidiary of News Corporation, began charging readers too for online content of The Times of London and Sunday Times of London from Jun 2010. Moreover, Gannett Co., Inc. (GCI - Snapshot Report) initiated a paywall model as well.
Notably, publishing companies have been divesting assets that have no direct relation to the core operations. As a part of its ongoing strategy, The New York Times Company divested its remaining stake (210 Class B units) in the Fenway Sports Group in May 2012. The company also completed the sale of Regional Media Group to re-focus on its core newspapers and pay more attention to its online activities. In Sep 2012, the company completed the sale of About Group, and in the same year in October sold its stake in Indeed.com. Reportedly, The New York Times Company has received several bids for The Boston Globe.
Another diversified media conglomerate to have taken similar steps is The Washington Post Company , which has sold out its daily and Sunday newspaper – The Herald – to Black Press Ltd. and its subsidiary, Sound Publishing.