Revenue was also boosted by the fact that the fourth quarter of 2012 had an extra week compared with 2011. The quarter began Sept. 24, the day the About sale was completed.
For the full year, the company earned $133.2 million, or 87 cents per share, compared with a loss of $39.7 million, or 26 cents, in 2011. Revenue grew 2 percent to $1.99 billion, from $1.95 billion. The company had $898.1 million in ad revenue and $953 million in circulation revenue in 2012.
The company said it expects advertising revenue trends in the current quarter to be similar to the fourth quarter. But it expects percentage growth in circulation revenue to be in the "mid-single digits" because of digital subscription programs and an additional price increase for the Times' print edition, which took effect during the current quarter.
Shares of the Times Co. rose 27 cents, or 3.3 percent, to close at $8.51. The stock rose as much as 15 percent earlier in the day following the earnings announcement. It is largely unchanged from the start of the year, compared with a 5.5 percent increase for the Standard & Poor's 500 index.