Meredith (MDP) Stock Rating Lowered by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Meredith (NYSE:MDP) from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Meredith’s strategic initiatives in digital space, brand licensing activities, solid portfolio of television stations and a robust earnings surprise history reinforce its position as one of the leading media and marketing companies. Moreover, the company acquired Time Inc. to create a leading media company, serving nearly 200 million Americans across industry-leading digital, television, print, video, mobile and social platforms placed for growth. Meredith expects to generate cost synergies of $400-$500 million annually in the first two years of the combined firm’s operations. In keeping with its strategy to focus on core operations, Meredith is offloading non-core brands. These seem inevitable due to increasing online readership, which has made the print-advertising model increasingly redundant and stiff competition from other media houses. Consequently, shares of Meredith have underperformed the industry in the past six months.”

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Several other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on MDP. Benchmark reissued a buy rating on shares of Meredith in a research note on Tuesday, January 30th. ValuEngine cut Meredith from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, January 4th. Finally, Gabelli raised Meredith from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 31st. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $73.00.

Shares of MDP stock opened at $53.60 on Tuesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $2,415.64, a PE ratio of 13.40, a P/E/G ratio of 1.45 and a beta of 1.41. The company has a quick ratio of 1.10, a current ratio of 1.15 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.55. Meredith has a 1-year low of $50.63 and a 1-year high of $72.25.

Meredith (NYSE:MDP) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, January 31st. The company reported $1.14 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.89 by $0.25. The company had revenue of $417.70 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $414.97 million. Meredith had a return on equity of 16.72% and a net margin of 16.41%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 5.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.30 earnings per share. research analysts predict that Meredith will post 4.65 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, March 15th. Investors of record on Wednesday, February 28th were paid a dividend of $0.545 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, February 27th. This represents a $2.18 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.07%. This is a boost from Meredith’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.52. Meredith’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 54.50%.

In other Meredith news, Director Donald C. Berg bought 3,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, February 5th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $57.50 per share, with a total value of $201,250.00. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Company insiders own 4.00% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MDP. Nationwide Fund Advisors grew its stake in Meredith by 7.0% during the third quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 96,940 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,380,000 after purchasing an additional 6,336 shares during the period. Russell Investments Group Ltd. boosted its holdings in Meredith by 56.8% in the third quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 16,786 shares of the company’s stock worth $932,000 after acquiring an additional 6,083 shares in the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. boosted its holdings in Meredith by 5.3% in the third quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 167,705 shares of the company’s stock worth $9,307,000 after acquiring an additional 8,442 shares in the last quarter. TD Asset Management Inc. boosted its holdings in Meredith by 5.5% in the third quarter. TD Asset Management Inc. now owns 23,704 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,316,000 after acquiring an additional 1,240 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Legal & General Group Plc boosted its holdings in Meredith by 8.8% in the third quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 49,142 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,725,000 after acquiring an additional 3,967 shares in the last quarter. 95.13% of the stock is 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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