Time Inc revenue falls 2%, hurt by stronger dollar

Sign outside the Time & Life building, New York
Scott Mlyn | CNBC

Magazine publisher Time Inc. reported stronger-than-expected quarterly revenue, helped by a slowdown in the decline in income from print advertising, and forecast revenue growth between 1 percent and 5 percent in 2016.

Time, whose titles include Sports Illustrated, People, and Time magazine, has been slashing costs, tapping revenue sources with higher margins and beefing up its digital offerings to cope with a relentless decline in the print industry.

Time, which has been spending heavily to build up its digital offerings, also said on Thursday it would buy the assets of Viant Technology, which helps advertisers target their ads.

Digital advertising revenue jumped 17.2 percent to $102 million in the three months ended Dec. 31.

Revenue in its print and other advertising category fell 6.6 percent to $382 million in the fourth quarter. The company had posted double-digit declines in the category in the previous four quarters.

On an adjusted basis, the company earned 58 cents per share, missing the average analyst estimate of 66 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue fell 2 percent to $877 million, but came above the estimated $872.1 million.

The company, which was spun off from Time Warner Inc in 2014, said net income fell to $17 million, or 15 cents per share, from $145 million, or $1.32 per share.

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In December, Time announced digital video distribution deals with Hulu, Yahoo, and Zealot Networks. J.R. McCabe, Time's senior vice president of video said in a statement that the deals symbolize the company's belief in high-quality content.

"(The) announcement underscores our plan to expand that network through creative collaborations with partners that believe in premium content," said McCabe.

In October, the company acquired "New Girl" actress Zooey Deschanel's positive lifestyle website, HelloGiggles. While the company did not release financial terms of the deal, The Hollywood Reporter said that the deal was valued around $30 million.

— CNBC's Christine Wang and Reuters contributed to this report.