10.29.2009 12:00 PM
Meredith Stations Down on Political and Auto
DES MOINES, IOWA:Fiscal 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.
Non-political revenues were $60 million, a decline of 7 percent from F1Q09 but
up 20 percent from the most recent quarter. Automotive contributed to more than
half of the decline.
“Advertising revenues across our core businesses outperformed both the magazine
and television industries in the quarter,” Meredith president and CEO, Stephen
M. Lacy said.
Revenues from retransmission fees nearly doubled in the first quarter of fiscal
2010 from the prior-year period. Meredith renegotiated of retransmission
agreements with the seven major cable operators in its markets. Revenues at
Meredith Video Solutions, the company’s in-house video production group, grew,
driven by corporate clients and expansion of its “Better” syndicated daily TV show.
Broadcast expenses declined 2 percent in F1Q10 compared to the prior-year
period. Meredith continued cut costs and centralize master control, traffic and
research across its television stations. The fiscal benefits are expected to
materialize in the second have of FY2010.
Revenues from Meredith’s print, broadcast and digital properties combined
totaled $332 million, compared to $364 million in the prior-year period.
Earnings per share were 40 cents compared to 41 cents last year. A benefit of 6
cents a share reflected a favorable tax adjustment. Without it, EPS came in at
34 cents, in line with expectations.
Shares climbed a bit in early trading, from around $29.50 to $29.88 before dropping
to around $28.50.
Meredith (NYSE; MDP) said print advertising revenues are currently down in the
“mid single-digit range” as it considers fiscal 2Q2010. Broadcast will be up
against $17 million in net political ad revenues from the year before. The
company expects F2Q10 EPS of 33 to 38 cents.
“Looking to the remainder of fiscal 2010, there is limited visibility into
customers’ advertising budgets, which generally reset effective Jan. 1,” the
company said in its earnings release. “Meredith continues to expect fiscal 2010
earnings per share to range from $1.60 to $2,” excluding the tax adjustment.
Meredith finished the quarter with cash and equivalents of $14,259, compared to
$27,910 at the end of F4Q09. Long-term debt was $285,000 compared to $380,000.
-- Deborah D. McAdams
More on Meredith:
July 29, 2009: “Meredith Fiscal 4Q TV
Revenues Drop 21 Percent”
Shares of Meredith Corp. slipped this morning on the company’s reported loss of
$3.64 a share for its fiscal fourth quarter and $2.28 for its fiscal year
ending June 30.
May 15, 2009: “Meredith Declares
Meredith Corp. declared a dividend Wednesday of 22.5 cents a share.
January 21, 2009: “Meredith 2Q Station
Revenue Down 20 Percent”
The company’s 12 TV stations generated $84 million in the quarter compared
to $88 million a year ago.
November 24, 2008: “Meredith TV Station
The 12 Meredith Corp. stations generated $70 million in revenue for the
company’s first quarter of fiscal 2009 compared to $75 million a year ago.