NEW YORK (AP) -- New York Times Co. shares slumped Tuesday after an analyst suggested in a media report that the company may need to cut its dividend to avoid a "junk" credit rating.
Earlier Tuesday, Bloomberg quoted a credit analyst with Moody's Investors Service saying the company may need to preserve cash -- potentially by lowering the dividend -- to avoid having its credit rating slashed.
Two weeks ago, Moody's changed the company's rating outlook to "Negative" from "Stable" on concerns about slipping advertising sales. Moody's said the lower ratings outlook reflects worries that the Gray Lady's ad revenue could slip further.
"The New York Times' first-half 2008 operating performance is in the range Moody's anticipated, but there is increasing risk that earnings in the second half of 2008 and in 2009 could fall below prior expectations," Moody's said.
Better start polishing those resumes....