Time Inc misses revenue estimates as advertising sales slip

A person walks past the logo of Time Inc. in the lobby of their headquarters in lower Manhattan in New York City.
Gary Hershorn | Getty Images

Time Inc., the publisher of Fortune, People and Time magazines, reported a lower-than-expected quarterly revenue on Tuesday, hurt by declines in magazine sales and advertising revenue.

Circulation revenue, which accounts for nearly 30 percent of Time's total revenue, fell 12.3 percent to $207 million in the second quarter ended June 30.

Advertising revenue also dipped about 12 percent to $374 million, driven by declines in both print and digital advertising.

New York-based Time has struggled to boost magazine subscriptions and advertising revenue as more people move online for news and entertainment and advertisers shift away from print media to digital platforms such as Google and Facebook.

"We believe our advertising revenues were negatively impacted by the public speculation about the ownership of the company and the trailing effect of the disruption from the reorganization of our advertising sales force," the company said in a statement.

Time had come under pressure to explore a sale after activist hedge fund Jana Partners unveiled a 5 percent stake in the company last August.

Time CEO Rich Battista told Reuters in April that the company was "definitely" not up for sale after reports that the company had been in discussions with Meredith Corp. about a potential sale.

Time also announced a cost-cutting plan on Tuesday, targeting adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization of at least $500 million to $600 million in the next three to four years.

The company has already undertaken restructuring measures, including the elimination of 300 jobs or 4 percent of its workforce in June.

Time reported a loss of $44 million, or 44 cents per share in the second quarter, compared with a profit of $18 million, or 79 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned 13 cents per share, edging past analysts' average estimate of 11 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue fell 9.7 percent to $694 million, missing analysts' expectations of $703.5 million.