Meredith (MDP) Lifted to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Meredith (NYSE:MDP) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday. The brokerage currently has a $74.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price suggests a potential upside of 11.36% from the company’s previous close.

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.”

Other equities analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. Jefferies Group raised shares of Meredith from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their price objective for the stock from $56.00 to $80.00 in a research note on Tuesday, November 28th. ValuEngine raised shares of Meredith from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, November 27th. Benchmark reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $77.00 price objective (up previously from $67.00) on shares of Meredith in a research note on Monday, November 27th. Wells Fargo & Co reduced their price objective on shares of Meredith from $62.00 to $54.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Finally, JMP Securities initiated coverage on shares of Meredith in a research note on Monday, November 13th. They issued a “market perform” rating for the company. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $74.40.

Shares of Meredith (NYSE:MDP) traded down $0.35 during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $66.45. The company had a trading volume of 637,800 shares, compared to its average volume of 420,186. The company has a quick ratio of 1.04, a current ratio of 1.08 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.64. The stock has a market capitalization of $2,940.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.05, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.46 and a beta of 1.30. Meredith has a 12-month low of $50.63 and a 12-month high of $72.25.

Meredith (NYSE:MDP) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The company reported $0.69 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.63 by $0.06. The firm had revenue of $393.00 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $397.50 million. Meredith had a return on equity of 18.24% and a net margin of 11.04%. Meredith’s quarterly revenue was down 1.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.75 earnings per share. equities research analysts anticipate that Meredith will post 3.39 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, Director Meredith D. Mell Frazier sold 22,176 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $69.85, for a total transaction of $1,548,993.60. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 6,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $419,100. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Paul Karpowicz sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $68.61, for a total value of $343,050.00. 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.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of MDP. State Street Corp increased its position in shares of Meredith by 16.8% during the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 4,938,340 shares of the company’s stock worth $293,589,000 after purchasing an additional 710,721 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in shares of Meredith by 9.1% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 7,553,017 shares of the company’s stock worth $449,025,000 after purchasing an additional 627,217 shares in the last quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB acquired a new position in shares of Meredith during the second quarter worth $9,354,000. Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its position in shares of Meredith by 17.5% during the second quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 989,983 shares of the company’s stock worth $58,854,000 after purchasing an additional 147,297 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Channing Capital Management LLC increased its position in shares of Meredith by 14.0% during the third quarter. Channing Capital Management LLC now owns 799,034 shares of the company’s stock worth $44,346,000 after purchasing an additional 98,014 shares in the last quarter. 97.26% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Meredith Company Profile

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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