The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a five-year low today, closing down nearly 450 points. And the New York Times Co. had an even worse day. The company's stock dove almost 10%, lower than it's been in decades. And just after the close of the markets came the payoff: the company is cutting its dividend to six cents per share, down from 23 cents last quarter. How bad is it? Very bad. How long can the company last before calling bankruptcy if things keep going like this? We're putting the question to you. In one sense, it's wise for the company to cut the dividend, because it needs to conserve all the cash it can get. But it's pretty apocalyptic for its stock, because it just makes it that much more unattractive to investors. The company also released its October revenues just minutes ago. How are those? Horrible! Total revenues are down 9.4% from last year, and ad revenues are down more than 16%.
National advertising revenues decreased as weakness in the studio entertainment, healthcare and home furnishing manufacturer categories offset very strong growth in financial services advertising as well as increased advocacy advertising.
Yes, all those full-page ads by failing banks desperate to retain their customers were the bright spot for the NYT Co. So here's the question: How long until the NYT Co. declares bankruptcy? "Never" is an acceptable answer for the optimists among you. A sale by the Sulzberger family is another obvious alternative. For the more hard-hearted, put your predictions in the comments. There will be some sort of reward for the winner. Though nobody really "wins" if it actually happens.