Meredith (MDP) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

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

According to Zacks, “Meredith has outperformed the industry in the past three months. The company’s strategic initiatives particularly in digital space, brand licensing activities, solid portfolio of television stations and robust earnings surprise history reinforce its position as one of the leading media and marketing companies. The company remains optimistic to generate solid no-political adverting revenues in Local Media Group attributable to robust demand for automotive and professional services. Moreover, the company’s recent merger agreement with Time Inc. for $2.8 billion cash, bodes well. Nevertheless, waning print media trends due to shift from traditional advertising and stiff competition continues to pose concerns for investors. Meanwhile, earnings in both the second quarter and fiscal 2018 are anticipated to decline year over year as the fiscal 2017 benefited from record political advertising revenues.”

MDP has been the subject of several other reports. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $60.00 price objective on shares of Meredith in a research note on Monday, October 16th. JMP Securities started coverage on Meredith in a research report on Monday, November 13th. They set a “market perform” rating on the stock. Benchmark reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $77.00 target price (up previously from $67.00) on shares of Meredith in a research report on Monday, November 27th. Wells Fargo & Co upgraded Meredith from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $54.00 to $76.00 in a research report on Monday, November 27th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded Meredith from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, October 13th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company. Meredith has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $74.80.

Meredith (NYSE:MDP) traded down $0.85 during trading hours on Wednesday, hitting $65.20. The stock had a trading volume of 407,500 shares, compared to its average volume of 353,300. Meredith has a twelve month low of $50.63 and a twelve month high of $72.25. The company has a current ratio of 1.08, a quick ratio of 1.04 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.64. The firm has a market cap of $2,950.85, a PE ratio of 15.79, a P/E/G ratio of 2.44 and a beta of 1.30.

Meredith (NYSE:MDP) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 26th. The company reported $0.69 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.63 by $0.06. The firm had revenue of $393.00 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $397.50 million. Meredith had a return on equity of 18.24% and a net margin of 11.04%. The firm’s revenue was down 1.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.75 EPS. research analysts forecast that Meredith will post 3.39 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Meredith news, major shareholder Edwin T. Iv Meredith sold 3,600 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.10, for a total value of $252,360.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Frederick B. Henry sold 1,048 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $66.50, for a total value of $69,692.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 35,024 shares of company stock worth $2,443,024 over the last three months. 4.00% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Advisor Group Inc. raised its holdings in Meredith by 0.9% during the second quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 5,398 shares of the company’s stock worth $321,000 after purchasing an additional 49 shares in the last quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Meredith by 0.5% during the 2nd quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC now owns 30,059 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,787,000 after acquiring an additional 163 shares in the last quarter. Northwestern Mutual Investment Management Company LLC grew its holdings in shares of Meredith by 3.0% during the 2nd quarter. Northwestern Mutual Investment Management Company LLC now owns 6,495 shares of the company’s stock valued at $337,000 after acquiring an additional 191 shares in the last quarter. Amalgamated Bank grew its holdings in shares of Meredith by 6.1% during the 2nd quarter. Amalgamated Bank now owns 5,575 shares of the company’s stock valued at $331,000 after acquiring an additional 319 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Thrivent Financial For Lutherans lifted its stake in shares of Meredith by 8.6% in the 2nd quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans now owns 7,420 shares of the company’s stock valued at $441,000 after purchasing an additional 590 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 97.25% of the company’s stock.

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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.

Analyst Recommendations for Meredith (NYSE:MDP)

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