Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Meredith Corp. (MDP) to Sell
Meredith Corp. (NYSE:MDP) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” 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 price objective on shares of Meredith Corp. from $57.00 to $62.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, July 29th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $54.20.
Shares of Meredith Corp. (NYSE:MDP) opened at 51.37 on Wednesday. The company has a market capitalization of $2.29 billion, a P/E ratio of 68.49 and a beta of 1.07. Meredith Corp. has a one year low of $35.03 and a one year high of $57.53. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $52.58 and a 200-day moving average of $50.98.
Meredith Corp. (NYSE:MDP) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $1.08 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.03 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $435.78 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $437.78 million. Meredith Corp. had a net margin of 2.06% and a return on equity of 15.66%. The business’s revenue was up 2.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.94 earnings per share. Equities research analysts expect that Meredith Corp. will post $3.68 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Investors of record on Wednesday, August 31st were issued a dividend of $0.495 per share. The ex-dividend date was Monday, August 29th. This represents a $1.98 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.85%. Meredith Corp.’s payout ratio is 275.00%.
In related news, CFO Joseph H. Ceryanec sold 9,145 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.03, for a total transaction of $494,104.35. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider John S. Zieser sold 1,206 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.00, for a total transaction of $66,330.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 18,000 shares in the company, valued at $990,000. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 11.24% of the company’s stock.
Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. BlackRock Fund Advisors increased its position in shares of Meredith Corp. by 1.4% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 5,286,511 shares of the company’s stock worth $274,423,000 after buying an additional 70,526 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in Meredith Corp. by 4.6% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 2,810,810 shares of the company’s stock valued at $145,909,000 after buying an additional 124,448 shares in the last quarter. Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC increased its position in Meredith Corp. by 245.2% in the second quarter. Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC now owns 2,157,605 shares of the company’s stock valued at $112,002,000 after buying an additional 1,532,611 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its position in Meredith Corp. by 16.1% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,967,824 shares of the company’s stock valued at $102,148,000 after buying an additional 272,663 shares in the last quarter. Finally, State Street Corp increased its position in Meredith Corp. by 0.9% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,177,881 shares of the company’s stock valued at $61,143,000 after buying an additional 10,500 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 82.34% 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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