March 22, 2017 Last Updated 10:47 am

Meredith raises third quarter 2017 earnings outlook citing strong digital advertising

Meredith now sees Q3 earnings per share coming in at a range from $0.85 to $0.87, with full year guidance also raised from levels communicated back in January

The magazine and broadcast company Meredith last night raised its earnings guidance for its fiscal 2017, saying that digital advertising in both its National (magazines) and Local (TV stations) divisions is stronger than expected.

Meredith guidance for Q3 is now in the range of $0.85 to $0.87 for its third quarter 2017. The company also raised its full year guidance.

The company reported strong Q2 earnings late in January, but then eliminated 40 positions, half in NYC, the rest in Des Moines.

Meredith is one of the companies to have submitted bids to the board of Time Inc., which this week is evaluating whether it will sell off the company, or parts of it, or will continue under the current direction of newish CEO Rich Battista. Meredith has long been interested in Time Inc.’s titles such as Southern Living, though less so its weeklies such as TIME and People. Time Inc. also owns a portfolio of magazines in the UK.

Meredith will report its fiscal 2017 third-quarter results on Thursday, April 27, 2017.

Here is Meredith’s announcement:

DES MOINES, Iowa – March 21, 2017 — Meredith Corporation – the leading media and marketing company with local television brands in large, fast-growing markets and national brands serving more than 110 million American women – today raised its earnings-per-share outlook for its fiscal 2017 third quarter and full year.

For the third quarter of fiscal 2017, Meredith now expects earnings per share to range from $0.85 to $0.87, driven by stronger than expected advertising performance, particularly from digital operations in both its National and Local Media Groups.  The higher outlook compares to the previous range of $0.75 to $0.80 communicated on January 25, 2017.  Meredith will provide more details when it reports fiscal 2017 third-quarter results on Thursday, April 27, 2017.

For full-year fiscal 2017, Meredith now expects record earnings per share of $4.13 to $4.18 on a GAAP basis, and $3.85 to $3.90 excluding special items recorded in fiscal 2017. These expectations compare to a range of $3.50 to $3.80 first communicated on July 28, 2016.

“We continue to successfully execute the multiplatform strategies we’ve implemented across our business units, and are pleased that performance for our digital activities is surpassing expectations,” said Meredith Chairman and CEO Stephen M. Lacy.  “Additionally, our other business activities are performing as originally anticipated.”

Lacy noted that Meredith also continues to execute its successful Total Shareholder Return program.  Key elements of this program include:

  • Ongoing dividend increases – Meredith raised its regular stock dividend by 5.1 percent to $2.08 on an annualized basis on January 28, 2017. This marked the 24th straight year of dividend increases for Meredith, which has paid an annual dividend for 70 consecutive years.
  • Strategic investments to scale the business and increase shareholder value – Over the last few years, Meredith has invested approximately $1 billion to acquire leading broadcast, digital and print properties.
  • Share repurchases – Meredith’s ongoing share repurchase program has $75 million remaining under current authorizations as of December 31, 2016.

“We remain laser focused on delivering on our pledge to increase shareholder value over time,” Lacy said. “Our combination of great media brands, an outstanding workforce, and pinpoint execution of our strategic imperatives continues to drive our strong financial performance.”

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