Meredith TV Station Profits Dip

DES MOINES, IOWA: The Meredith local media division comprising its 12 TV stations posted an operating profit of $17 million on $76 million in revenues for quarter ending Dec. 31, 2009, the company’s second for fiscal 2010. The same period a year ago yielded $22 million in operating profit on revenues of $84 million for the division.

Revenues from retransmission fees nearly doubled in the second quarter of fiscal 2010 from the prior-year period. Meredith (NYSE: MDP) said revenues also grew at its in-house video production group, driven primarily by growth in custom video projects for corporate clients.

“We’re encouraged by the strength of our connection with viewers, which has helped us grow non-political advertising revenues,” said. Meredith chief Stephen Lacy. “We’re working to build upon this foundation and continuing to develop other sources of revenue, including retransmission fees and our video production activities.”

Full F2Q10 revenues for print and broadcast were $337 million, compared to $361 million a year ago. Net earnings were nearly $19 million compared to $12 million a year ago. Earnings per share were 42 cents after a previously announced $5.5 million charge in the magazine division. EPS finished at 49 cents excluding the charge.

Looking at the third quarter of fiscal 2010, local media non-political advertising is pacing up percentagewise in the mid-teens, MDP said. Earnings per share are forecast to come in between 55 and 60 cents.

“Looking to the remainder of the fiscal year, with limited visibility into customers’ 2010 advertising and marketing budgets, Meredith currently expects full year earnings per share to range from $1.90 to $2.05, excluding the special items reported in the first half of fiscal 2010.”

More on Meredith:
January 14, 2010: Meredith to Take $5.5 Million Charge
“The recessionary economy has impacted the consumer's ability to execute these types of projects and led to a decrease in advertising spending.”

October 29, 2009: Meredith Stations Down on Political and Auto
iscal 2010 first-quarter revenues for Meredith’s 12 TV stations came in at $61 million, down from $70 million last year. Operating profit was $2 million compared to $11 million, attributed to a $5 million dip in political advertising and continued weakness in automotive.