The New York Times Co posted its largest revenue growth for a quarter in the past six years, which beat expectations on Wall Street, thanks to surging digital subscriptions amidst the media storm that was triggered by last fall’s presidential election in the United States.
Shares for the newspaper publisher were up by over 12% during Wednesday trading. During its most recently ended quarter, the company added a net 308,000 digital news subscribers topping its previous quarter of 276,000.
Online readership at the Times has been increasing since the presidential election through marketing an unbiased reporting base that has come about due to the combative view of President Donald Trump of traditional news outlets.
Trump repeatedly has criticized members of the press, and that includes the Times, by calling it fake news as well as an enemy of the people
Because of those remarks and criticisms, the Times launched a Truth campaign that included its first ad on television in the past seven years, and urged readers to subscribe to the online Times to support accurate and fair reporting.
The Times CEO Mark Thompson said that even the U.S. President drew attention to their site and its campaign.
The paid subscriptions that are digital only at the Times reached 2.2 million at the end of the 2017 first quarter. They surged by over 60% from the same quarter one year ago and by 16% from the end of the previous quarter.
Thompson said the first quarter was the best quarter for growth in subscribers in the history of the company.
Total revenue increase by 5.1% to end the quarter at $398.7 million, which beat Wall Street estimates of more than $381.95 million.
Revenue from digital advertising, which now represents 38% of all ad revenue, increased nearly 19% to end the quarter at $49.7 million.
Revenue from print advertising fell again, ending the quarter 17.8% down at $80.4 million.
The Times has invested heavily as a way to boost digital offering focusing on mobile devices as well as brand marketing and other services to lure in readers.
Operating costs were up 4.5% to just over $367.3 million during the quarter. The Times has used cost cutting measures such as layoffs and shuttering some operations in Paris to bring costs down.
Attributable net income for the Times was just over $13.2 million equal to 8 cents a share in comparison to an $8.3 million loss equal to 5 cents a share for the same quarter one year ago.