Meredith Drops on Forecast Despite Record 2Q

DES MOINES, IOWA: Shares of Meredith Corp. slipped today even as the company posted strong fiscal second-quarter results. Shares (NYSE: MDP) dropped from more than $33.50 at the end of yesterday’s trading day to around $34.22 today on the company’s fiscal 3Q forecast.

Meredith turned in earnings per share of 88 cents, a record high for a second quarter and at the top end of analyst expectations. EPS for the year-ago quarter was 41 cents. Meredith predicted 60 to 65 cents for F3Q11, below the Street’s consensus target of 67 cents. The company was cautious on the upcoming quarter because magazine advertising is tracking downward and non-political TV ad sales are “volatile on a week-to-week basis across markets and categories.”

Meredith’s 12 TV stations and its production studio logged operating profit of $39 million on revenues of $97 million. The figures were up 129 percent and 30 percent respectively from F3Q10. Net political revenues were $22 million. Non-political revenues were $69 million, up 3 percent from a year ago.

Consolidated revenues rose 9 percent to $367 million. Profit jumped 114 percent to $40.6 million. Meredith continues to expect fiscal 2011 full year earnings per share to range from$2.60 to $2.80, which would represent a 15 to 25 percent increase over fiscal 2010.
-- Deborah D. McAdams

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