(Community Matters) Interesting to reread this 2009 Vanity Fairs article on Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr., & the New York Times in light of today’s results. The VF was more about Sulzberger but foresaw the Times in bankruptcy – because mostly of devastatingly bad billions invested in stock repurchase and secondary business priorities over journalistic.
And, since, the stock price has increased from $6.49 to $14.93 (a 26% annual return as opposed to 20% for the Dow). hmm, yet net income continues to shrink despite mostly flat revenues. 1Q14 ad revenues up and dividends reinstituted. Though, pessimism about stickiness of ad revenue increases and growth in digital platform.
Debt to equity has improved considerably from 3.9x to 2x – thanks in great part to divestitures (About.com group ($300mm) and equity stake in Fenway Sports Group ($30mm)) – though still high & risky for a declining industry. Cash from operations continues to decline – from 153mm in 2010 to $35mm in 2013. The company did repay Carlos Slim’s $250mm 2009 loan a couple of years ago. Reports that Mr. Slim will exercise his warrants ($6.36 exercise price) to increase equity from 8% to 17%. Will be enlightening and foretelling to see if he takes his gain or holds.