After the market closed today the New York Times announced it would cut its dividend from 23 cents a share to 6 cents, which will save the company $97.8 million a year. Lord knows they need the cash. It probably would have been wise to cut the dividend to zero, but this is still a big step in the right direction. The stock now sits at $5.72 a share.
The New York Times Company’s Board of Directors today declared a quarterly dividend of $.06 per share on the Company’s Class A and Class B common stock, down from $.23 per share in the third quarter of 2008. The dividend is payable on December 15, 2008, to shareholders of record on December 1, 2008.
“This was a difficult but necessary decision that will provide us with greater financial flexibility in these uncertain economic times,” said Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., chairman of the Company. “Most industries are feeling the need to conserve cash and ours is as well, particularly given the secular challenges we face. Throughout our history, we have successfully weathered difficult periods by maintaining our brand promise of providing high-quality journalism. In order to continue to do so, we have taken decisive steps to reduce capital spending, lower operating costs and re-evaluate our assets. We expect that this steep cut in the dividend, coupled with our other actions, will help us decrease debt and improve the liquidity of the Company, a prudent measure in this operating environment.”
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