Meredith (MDP) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research
Meredith (NYSE:MDP) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Thursday. The firm presently has a $73.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price points to a potential upside of 8.63% 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.”
Several other brokerages also recently weighed in on MDP. Citigroup downgraded Meredith from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, December 1st. Jefferies Group raised Meredith from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their target price for the stock from $56.00 to $80.00 in a research report on Tuesday, November 28th. ValuEngine raised Meredith from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, November 27th. Benchmark reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $77.00 target price (up previously from $67.00) on shares of Meredith in a research report on Monday, November 27th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co raised Meredith from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and upped their target price for the stock from $54.00 to $76.00 in a research report on Monday, November 27th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $74.20.
Meredith (NYSE:MDP) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The company reported $0.69 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ 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 firm had revenue of $393.00 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $397.50 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.75 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 1.7% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts predict that Meredith will post 3.39 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
In other news, Director Frederick B. Henry sold 1,048 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $66.50, for a total value of $69,692.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CFO Joseph H. Ceryanec sold 3,200 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.54, for a total value of $228,928.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 35,024 shares of company stock valued at $2,443,024 in the last ninety days. Company 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. boosted its holdings in Meredith by 9.1% in the second 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 last quarter. State Street Corp boosted its holdings in Meredith by 16.8% in the second 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 last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its holdings in Meredith by 0.4% in the second 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 last quarter. Royce & Associates LP boosted its holdings in Meredith by 5.4% in the third 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 last quarter. Finally, Northern Trust Corp boosted its holdings in Meredith by 3.6% in the second 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 last quarter. 97.26% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other 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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