Shares in The New York Times Co. soared on Wednesday on a resurgence of rumors that Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim may increase his holdings in the newspaper giant.
Times Co. shares gained 7.99 percent in heavy trading to close at 8.38 dollars on Wall Street.
"The rumors are that (Slim) will take a bigger stake," said Gregori Volokhine of Meeschaert New York.
Slim extended a 250-million-dollar loan to the Times Co. in January last year and owns slightly less than seven percent of the Class A shares in the company.
Slim has previously denied any interest in making a bid for the Times Co. and financial analysts noted that a takeover would be extremely difficult since the Sulzberger family owns the vast majority of the controlling Class B shares.
The Times Co. reported a slight increase in quarterly revenue in July as double-digit growth in digital advertising helped offset a continued slide in print advertising.
The Times Co., which owns The Boston Globe, International Herald Tribune and other newspapers in addition to the flagship New York Times, said revenue rose 1.2 percent in the second quarter to 589.6 million dollars over a year ago.
Net profit declined to 32 million dollars from 39 million dollars a year earlier.
In addition to obtaining a loan from Slim, the Times Co. last year also entered into a sale-leaseback agreement for part of its Manhattan headquarters in a move aimed at raising cash to pay down its debt.
Like other US newspapers, the Times has been struggling with a steep decline in print advertising revenue, falling circulation and the migration of readers to free news online.
(c) 2010 AFP