Meredith Corp. (MDP) Upgraded to “Hold” by Zacks Investment Research
Meredith Corp. (NYSE:MDP) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to 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 target price on Meredith Corp. from $57.00 to $62.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, July 29th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $54.20.
Shares of Meredith Corp. (NYSE:MDP) traded up 0.06% during trading on Wednesday, reaching $50.23. The company had a trading volume of 72,914 shares. Meredith Corp. has a 12 month low of $35.03 and a 12 month high of $57.53. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $51.92 and its 200 day moving average price is $51.33. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.24 billion, a P/E ratio of 66.97 and a beta of 1.01.
Meredith Corp. (NYSE:MDP) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $1.08 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $435.78 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations 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 for the quarter was up 2.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.94 EPS. Equities analysts predict that Meredith Corp. will post $3.68 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Investors of record on Wednesday, August 31st were issued a $0.495 dividend. This represents a $1.98 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.94%. The ex-dividend date was Monday, August 29th. Meredith Corp.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 275.00%.
In related news, Chairman Stephen M. Lacy sold 46,283 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.15, for a total value of $2,506,224.45. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, Chairman Stephen M. Lacy sold 14,110 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.10, for a total value of $763,351.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now owns 15,415 shares in the company, valued at approximately $833,951.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 11.24% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. CIBC World Markets Inc. purchased a new stake in Meredith Corp. during the first quarter worth $239,000. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC boosted its stake in Meredith Corp. by 10.2% in the first quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 145,588 shares of the company’s stock worth $6,915,000 after buying an additional 13,449 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in Meredith Corp. by 15.5% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 27,667 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,314,000 after buying an additional 3,715 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Group LTD boosted its stake in Meredith Corp. by 41.5% in the first quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 102,995 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,893,000 after buying an additional 30,203 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Fund Advisors boosted its stake in Meredith Corp. by 15.5% in the first quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 5,215,985 shares of the company’s stock worth $247,759,000 after buying an additional 701,153 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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