Meredith Corp. (NYSE:MDP) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday.
According to Zacks, “Meredith continued with its positive earnings surprise streak for the eleventh straight quarter when it posted fourth-quarter fiscal 2016 results. Favorable advertising trends in the digital section and recent acquisitions continue to positively influence the company’s performance. Digital traffic increased to more than 80 million monthly unique visitors. The company expects strong political advertising cycle as well as higher retransmission revenues and robust digital advertising revenue growth to drive its performance higher in fiscal 2017. Meredith is focused on bolstering advertising revenues, primarily in the digital space, and is increasingly concentrating on brand licensing, marketing services and eCommerce. However, with advancing technology, the print media is on a decline. Shift to online is likely to put enormous pressure on Meredith’s magazine portfolio.”
Separately, Benchmark Co. boosted their price objective on Meredith Corp. from $57.00 to $62.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, July 29th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $54.20.
Meredith Corp. (NYSE:MDP) opened at 49.22 on Wednesday. Meredith Corp. has a 1-year low of $35.03 and a 1-year high of $57.53. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.19 billion, a P/E ratio of 65.63 and a beta of 1.01. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $51.67 and its 200 day moving average is $51.30.
Meredith Corp. (NYSE:MDP) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $1.08 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.05. The company earned $435.78 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $437.78 million. Meredith Corp. had a return on equity of 15.66% and a net margin of 2.06%. The firm’s revenue was up 2.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.94 EPS. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Meredith Corp. will post $3.68 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, August 31st were paid a $0.495 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, August 29th. This represents a $1.98 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.02%. Meredith Corp.’s payout ratio is 275.00%.
In other Meredith Corp. news, CFO Joseph H. Ceryanec sold 9,145 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.03, for a total value of $494,104.35. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider John S. Zieser sold 1,206 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.00, for a total value of $66,330.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 18,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $990,000. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 11.24% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Weaver C. Barksdale & Associates Inc. increased its position in Meredith Corp. by 0.5% in the third quarter. Weaver C. Barksdale & Associates Inc. now owns 17,240 shares of the company’s stock valued at $896,000 after buying an additional 84 shares during the last quarter. Blair William & Co. IL increased its position in Meredith Corp. by 1.4% in the second quarter. Blair William & Co. IL now owns 6,205 shares of the company’s stock worth $322,000 after buying an additional 85 shares in the last quarter. AXA increased its position in Meredith Corp. by 1.5% in the first quarter. AXA now owns 6,900 shares of the company’s stock worth $328,000 after buying an additional 100 shares in the last quarter. Strs Ohio increased its position in Meredith Corp. by 0.9% in the second quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 23,200 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,204,000 after buying an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio increased its position in Meredith Corp. by 9.1% in the second quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 2,734 shares of the company’s stock worth $142,000 after buying an additional 229 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 82.32% of the company’s stock.
About Meredith Corp.
Meredith Corporation is a media and marketing company. The Company operates two business segments namely local media and national media. Its national media segment includes national consumer media brands delivered via multiple media platforms including print magazines and digital and mobile media, brand licensing activities, database-related activities and business-to-business marketing products and services.
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