The New York Times Company's subscription revenues exceeded $1 billion in 2017 thanks in part to a strong growth in digital subscriptions.
The 166-year-old company reported strong fourth-quarter earnings and revenues on Thursday that easily surpassed expectations.
The Times reported an increase of 157,000 digital subscriptions in just the fourth quarter. The over $1 billion in subscription revenues accounted for 60 percent of total revenue in 2017.
“2017 was a year marked by growth and innovation both in our groundbreaking journalism and in our thriving business," said New York Times President and CEO Mark Thompson in the earnings announcement. "It is a clear sign that our subscription-first business model is proving to be an effective way to support our broad journalistic ambitions.
"We’re pleased with the continued rate of growth and particularly pleased to be seeing strong retention from the large group of new subscribers who came to The Times late last year," added Thompson, who has run the company since 2012. "We believe there remains a large opportunity to continue to extend our subscription reach and will continue to invest in areas of the business that will allow us to achieve that growth."
Total revenue for the year was up 8 percent, to $1.7 billion. Revenue in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016 was up 10.1 percent, to $484.1 million, outperforming a Thompson Reuters survey which estimated $467.3 million in revenue.
The Times also says it added 125 new journalists in 2017 and recorded 360 videos in 57 countries. The paper also touted publishing in 14 languages other than English around the world and having 1,450 journalists speaking 57 different languages reporting from 160 countries.
Five years ago, the paper's stock closed at $8.67 per share on Feb 8, 2013. The stock has now tripled in value to more than $24 per share.
The paper is a favorite target of President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by Boeing — Milley warns of 'Sputnik moment' for China WSJ publishes letter from Trump continuing to allege voter fraud in PA Oath Keeper who was at Capitol on Jan. 6 runs for New Jersey State Assembly MORE, who has mocked it as "the failing New York Times." Trump has asked if libel laws should be changed because of the paper's reporting.
"The failing @nytimes has disgraced the media world. Gotten me wrong for two solid years. Change libel laws?," he tweeted to his 47.6 million followers last year.
Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr., 66, stepped down as publisher of the Times and passed the baton to his son, Arthur G. Sulzberger, 37, in December.