Analysts: NYT Co. Ad Revenue Expected to Drop 24%

First quarter advertising revenue at The New York Times Co. is expected to be down 24 percent, estimates J.P. Morgan research analysts Alexia Quadrani and Monica DiCenso.

The New York Times is reporting its quarterly earnings on Tuesday April 21.

Earnings per share are forecasted to fall almost 77 percent to 3 cents in Q1–in line with consensus, the research firm said in a note released this afternoon.

As its peers Gannett and Media General did this week, executives with the New York Times are likely to emphasize the progress on cost reductions during the call.

However the dramatic decline in advertising revenue is putting pressure on margins. J.P. Morgan estimates that the company’s Q1 EBITDA margin will decline to 7.7 percent from 11.7 percent in Q1 2008.

“While we believe the New York Times is better positioned than its peers longer term with a strong brand name, good circulation revenue growth and a relatively superior digital strategy, we still expect the stock to remain range bound near term,” the note said.

As of mid-afternoon, shares of the New York Times Co. were trading up 9.8 percent to $6.50.