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Time Inc hurt by falling print advertising, subscription revenue

(Reuters) – Time Inc, the largest magazine publisher in the United States, reported quarterly results that fell short of analysts’ estimates, hurt by falling circulation and advertising revenue.

The publisher of the Sports Illustrated, Time and People magazines also forecast a 3-6 percent decline in revenue for the year.

The forecast implies revenue of $3.08-$3.18 billion for the full year, well below the average analyst estimate of $3.24 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Time, which was spun off from Time Warner Inc last June, has been severely hit by declining circulation and advertising revenue as consumers shift to reading on smartphones and tablets.

Most publishers, including Time, have been cutting costs, slashing their workforce and beefing up digital services.

New York Times Co <NYT.N> last week posted quarterly revenue ahead of estimates as higher digital subscription and advertising sales largely balanced a fall in print ad revenue.

Time’s total advertising revenue fell 8.1 percent to $496 million in the fourth quarter, despite an uptick in digital advertising.

The company, which publishes more than 90 titles and operates 45 websites, gets more than half of its revenue from advertising.

Circulation revenue, which includes subscription and newsstand sales, also fell about 8 percent to $288 million.

Time said it kick-started a restructuring plan in fourth quarter that resulted in a pre-tax charge of $28 million, aimed at headcount reductions and other efforts.

The company’s total revenue fell 7.3 percent to $895 million missing analysts’ average estimate of $904.3 million.

Net income more than doubled to $145 million, or $1.32 per share, from $66 million, or 61 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, it earned 73 cents per share missing analysts’ expectations of 78 cents per share.

Shares of the company closed at $24.95 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

(Reporting By Sai Sachin R and Lehar Maan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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