President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Thompson said the company's board approved a 4 cent per share quarterly dividend.
"Given the expectation of continued volatility in advertising revenue and the fact that our growth strategy is at an early stage of development, we will maintain a prudent view of both the balance sheet and free cash flow," Thompson said in a statement.
The unexpected dividend was approved for both Class A and Class B shares. In the first quarter, the company dividends were on hold due to the deterioration of the newspaper publishing industry.
By August, however, the balance sheet showed a profit, due to increased circulation revenue and scaled back operational expenses.
Industry analyst John Janedis at UBS, said a dividend made sense, given the sale of The New England Media Group, which should close in October. That would allow the company to focus on its core brand, The New York Times, the newspaper said.