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Second-Quarter Sees Media and Technology Brands Struggle

29 Jul, 2009 Response This Week

LOS ANGELES – Leading technology and media companies are each struggling in this turbulent economy. The New York Times Co., Microsoft, AT&T, Amazon and Disney were among a number of large companies in the space to report a drop in second-quarter results. How each plans to address financial distress remains, for the most part, insider information.

While the New York Times Co. earned $39.1 million, an 85-percent increase from the same period last year. But the profit may be misleading, as the company’s advertising revenue plummeted 30 percent, or $137 million, a greater decrease than in 1Q 2009, when ad sales fell 27 percent.

Microsoft Co. met Wall Street expectations — excluding money budgeted for the October release of Windows 7 — with a 29-percent 2Q decline in profits due to weak computer sales, according to the company. Meanwhile, AT&T Inc. reported a 15-percent decrease in second-quarter earnings, primarily due to wireless business declines and heavy subsidies to sign up iPhone customers. Inc.’s 2Q profit fell 10 percent. The Seattle-based company said net sales would have grown 20 percent, but yearly changes in foreign exchange rates made an unfavorable impact on profit. The company this week bought privately held online shoe store Inc. in an $850 million deal.

Disney Co. hopes to boost profit by preparing a subscription online video site that will offer Disney movies, TV shows and games on a monthly subscription-based mode.

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