While advertising revenue continued to decline for the New York Times (NYSE:NYT) in 2011, the company also announced the sale of its remaining shares in the Fenway Sports Group, amounting to around $30 million.  The move seems to be in line with the company’s strategy of selling off non-strategic assets, much like it did with the Regional Media Group. The New York Times operates in an intensely competitive online advertising market, with players like Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Facebook.
Investments to Drive Subscriptions and Mobile/Social Content
It was slightly surprising at first when NYT decided to sell its remaining shares in the Fenway Sports Group, as the stake did bring in around $4.1 million as joint venture income for Q4 2011, which is comparable to About.com’s operating profit of around $5.3 million. However, it seems that NYT is getting serious about improving its presence in the mobile/social space, and would probably want to free up cash resources to invest in the same. The resources might also be used for pushing online subscriptions further, which NYT is desperately trying to achieve, a recent example being its tie-up with the Nook tablet.
We currently have a price estimate of $7.50 for NYT’s stock, which is roughly 6% below the current market price. We will update our analysis for NYT based on the Q4 2011 earnings in next 3-4 days.Notes: