Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Meredith Corporation (NYSE:MDP) to Hold

Meredith Corporation (NYSE:MDP) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday, June 28th.

According to Zacks, “Meredith has performed in line with the industry in the past one month. The company’s strategic initiatives particularly in digital space, brand licensing activities, great group of television stations and solid earnings surprise history are the pillars that reinforce its position as one of the leading media and marketing company. However, the year-over-year decline in third-quarter fiscal 2017 earnings do raise concern, as the revenue beat for the second straight quarter failed to alleviate the same. Nevertheless, management echoed its fiscal 2017 earnings per share projection and now envisions total revenue to be up marginally in the final quarter. Local Media Group’s revenue is expected to be up mid-single digits, while that of National Media Group is likely to be down marginally in the final quarter. We believe waning print media trends due to shift from traditional advertising and stiff competition still remain headwinds.”

MDP has been the subject of a number of other research reports. BidaskClub upgraded Meredith Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, June 15th. Jefferies Group LLC increased their price target on Meredith Corporation from $55.00 to $57.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, March 22nd. Benchmark Co. increased their price target on Meredith Corporation from $64.00 to $65.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, March 23rd. Citigroup Inc. upgraded Meredith Corporation from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their price target for the stock from $58.00 to $65.00 in a report on Tuesday, May 2nd. Finally, ValuEngine cut Meredith Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 7th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Meredith Corporation currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $63.50.

Meredith Corporation (NYSE MDP) traded up 0.57% on Wednesday, hitting $62.25. 612,333 shares of the stock traded hands. The stock has a market cap of $2.78 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 51.28 and a beta of 1.23. Meredith Corporation has a 12-month low of $43.85 and a 12-month high of $66.25. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $58.93 and its 200-day moving average price is $59.96.

Meredith Corporation (NYSE:MDP) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The company reported $1.07 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.96 by $0.11. The business had revenue of $445.40 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $439.61 million. Meredith Corporation had a return on equity of 19.44% and a net margin of 3.23%. The firm’s revenue was up 2.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.08 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Meredith Corporation will post $3.40 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other Meredith Corporation news, Director Frederick B. Henry sold 3,995 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.50, for a total value of $229,712.50. Following the sale, the director now owns 2,103 shares in the company, valued at $120,922.50. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, insider Steven M. Cappaert sold 2,195 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.96, for a total value of $125,027.20. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 6,542 shares in the company, valued at approximately $372,632.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 9,179 shares of company stock valued at $527,227 over the last three months. Insiders own 12.40% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in MDP. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in shares of Meredith Corporation by 16,099.9% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 6,925,800 shares of the company’s stock worth $447,406,000 after buying an additional 6,883,048 shares during the period. State Street Corp raised its position in shares of Meredith Corporation by 262.5% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 4,227,619 shares of the company’s stock worth $273,107,000 after buying an additional 3,061,421 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Meredith Corporation by 14.5% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 3,549,468 shares of the company’s stock worth $229,296,000 after buying an additional 450,150 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its position in shares of Meredith Corporation by 68.3% in the first quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 1,347,620 shares of the company’s stock worth $87,057,000 after buying an additional 546,916 shares during the period. Finally, Schroder Investment Management Group raised its position in shares of Meredith Corporation by 16.1% in the first quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 1,054,436 shares of the company’s stock worth $67,906,000 after buying an additional 146,177 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 96.51% of the company’s stock.

About Meredith Corporation

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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