In what some might consider a showdown between old media and new, the Gray Lady of journalism surprised investors with a surge in digital revenue, while mail-order and streaming movie service Netflix sorely disappointed the markets. Both firms are adapting as more and more content goes to the web and pundits question the future of newsprint and physical movie media.
The New York Times Company reported its first improvement in quarterly revenue in over two years, as income inched up to $589.6 million in second-quarter 2010 from $548.5 million during the same period in 2009. It wasn't a huge increase, but it was much better than analyst expectations of a drop to $576 million.
The quarter was marked by the continuing shift of advertising from print to web, as digital ad revenue jumped 21 percent during the quarter while print ads dropped 6 percent.
Meanwhile, Netflix shares fell 10 percent after second-quarter revenue rose 27 percent to $519.8 million, short of the analysts' estimate of $524.5 million. Profits, however, increased 34 percent to hit $43.5 million, which at 80 cents per share was much better than analysts' estimates of just 70 cents per share.
It appears, then, that traders punished Netflix for not expanding fast enough while rewarding the New York Times for clinging to life.
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