Meredith (NYSE:MDP) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday.
According to Zacks, “Meredith has outperformed the industry in the past three months. The company’s strategic initiatives particularly in digital space, brand licensing activities, solid portfolio of television stations and robust earnings surprise history reinforce its position as one of the leading media and marketing companies. The company remains optimistic to generate solid no-political adverting revenues in Local Media Group attributable to robust demand for automotive and professional services. Moreover, the company’s recent merger agreement with Time Inc. for $2.8 billion cash, bodes well. Nevertheless, waning print media trends due to shift from traditional advertising and stiff competition continues to pose concerns for investors. Meanwhile, earnings in both the second quarter and fiscal 2018 are anticipated to decline year over year as the fiscal 2017 benefited from record political advertising revenues.”
Several other research analysts have also recently issued reports on the company. Jefferies Group reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $60.00 target price on shares of Meredith in a research report on Monday, October 16th. JMP Securities assumed coverage on Meredith in a research report on Monday, November 13th. They issued a “market perform” rating on the stock. Benchmark reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $77.00 target price (up from $67.00) on shares of Meredith in a research report on Monday, November 27th. Wells Fargo & Co raised Meredith from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and raised their target price for the stock from $54.00 to $76.00 in a research report on Monday, November 27th. Finally, ValuEngine raised Meredith from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, October 13th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $74.80.
Meredith (NYSE:MDP) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 26th. The company reported $0.69 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.63 by $0.06. Meredith had a return on equity of 18.24% and a net margin of 11.04%. The company had revenue of $393.00 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $397.50 million. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.75 earnings per share. Meredith’s revenue was down 1.7% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts anticipate that Meredith will post 3.39 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
In other news, major shareholder Edwin T. Iv Meredith sold 3,600 shares of Meredith stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.10, for a total transaction of $252,360.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director Meredith D. Mell Frazier sold 22,176 shares of Meredith stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $69.85, for a total value of $1,548,993.60. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 6,000 shares in the company, valued at $419,100. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 35,024 shares of company stock worth $2,443,024. Insiders own 4.00% of the company’s stock.
A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in Meredith by 9.1% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 7,553,017 shares of the company’s stock valued at $449,025,000 after purchasing an additional 627,217 shares during the period. State Street Corp raised its stake in Meredith by 16.8% during the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 4,938,340 shares of the company’s stock valued at $293,589,000 after purchasing an additional 710,721 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in Meredith by 0.4% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 3,564,353 shares of the company’s stock valued at $211,902,000 after purchasing an additional 14,885 shares during the period. Royce & Associates LP raised its stake in Meredith by 5.4% during the 3rd quarter. Royce & Associates LP now owns 1,602,378 shares of the company’s stock valued at $88,932,000 after purchasing an additional 81,737 shares during the period. Finally, Northern Trust Corp raised its stake in Meredith by 3.6% during the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 1,059,938 shares of the company’s stock valued at $63,014,000 after purchasing an additional 37,120 shares during the period. 97.25% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
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Meredith Corporation is a diversified media company. The Company is focused primarily on the home and family marketplace. The Company operates through two segments: Local Media and National Media. As of June 30, 2016, the Company’s Local Media segment includes 16 owned television stations, one managed television station and related digital and mobile media operations.
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