Investors Express Confidence In Meredith Pacings Boost


Meredith Corporation shares were up 1.5%, to $62.55, just before 2pm Eastern on Wednesday as investors reacted positively to some good news from the owner of broadcast TV stations and women’s lifestyle brands including Better Homes and Gardens, Allrecipes, Parents and Shape.

The multimedia company raised its earnings-per-share outlook for its fiscal 2017 third quarter and full year.

Digital dollars are the key reason for the bump.

For its fiscal Q3 of 2017, Meredith now expects earnings per share to range from $0.85 to $0.87, compared to its previously announced guidance of $0.75 to $0.80.

The reason? Stronger than expected advertising performance, particularly from digital operations in both Meredith’s National and Local Media Groups.

The National group houses its lifestyle brands and associated print and digital publications; the Local Media group includes 17 owned or operated television stations.

For full-year fiscal 2017, Meredith now expects record earnings per share of $4.13 to $4.18 on a GAAP basis, and $3.85 to $3.90 excluding special items recorded in fiscal 2017.

These expectations compare to a range of $3.50 to $3.80 first communicated on July 28, 2016.

“We continue to successfully execute the multiplatform strategies we’ve implemented across our business units, and we’re pleased that performance for our digital activities is surpassing expectations,” said Meredith Chairman/CEO Stephen M. Lacy.  “Additionally, our other business activities are performing as originally anticipated.”

Lacy noted that Meredith also continues to execute its successful Total Shareholder Return program.  Key elements of this program include ongoing dividend increases, $1 billion in investments seen in the last few years “to scale the business and increase shareholder value,” and an ongoing share repurchase initiative that has $75 million remaining under current authorizations as of Dec. 31, 2016.

“We remain laser focused on delivering on our pledge to increase shareholder value over time,” Lacy said. “Our combination of great media brands, an outstanding workforce, and pinpoint execution of our strategic imperatives continues to drive our strong financial performance.”

Meredith will provide more details when it reports fiscal 2017 third-quarter results on Thursday, April 27.