TV led quarter for Meredith


Total revenues were down 3.6% for Meredith Corporation in its fiscal Q3 (January-March), but that was all due to a 5.2% decline on the magazine side. Meredith’s TV revenues were up 3.3% despite a drop-off in political spending from a year earlier.

Non-political ad revenues for the Local Media Group, which is what Meredith calls its TV stations, grew 5.3% to $63.5 million. Political plunged 55.2% to $682K and “other” revenues were off 2.1% to $6.8 million. That all added up to a 3.3% revenue incr3ease for TV to just shy of $71 million. Operating profit for the Local Media Group gained 3.5% to $13.3 million.

The National Media Group, magazines, saw ad revenues decline 11.4% to $121.7 million. With circulation down and “other” up, total revenues for the magazine side declined 5.2% to $269.7 million. Operating profit for the National Media Group declined 5.8% to $47.9 million.

All in all, revenues companywide were down 3.6% to $340.7 million. After adding in corporate overhead, income from operations fell 8.3% to $51.8 million.

“The Local Media Group, Meredith Integrated Marketing and Brand Licensing all posted solid growth in the third quarter,” said Meredith Chairman and CEO Steve Lacy. “As previously communicated, National Media Group advertising revenues were lower. We believe this was primarily due to belt-tightening by certain advertising clients facing sharply higher commodity prices. However, net revenues per advertising page increased for the third consecutive quarter, and we see National Media Group advertising revenue declines moderating as we move into our fiscal fourth quarter.”

Meredith CFO Joe Ceryanec told analysts that when the current Fiscal Q4 is complete,
full year earnings per share are expected to range from $2.72 to $2.78, which would be up approximately 20% from the previous fiscal year. It’s also at the top end of the range that the company projected when the year began.

“Now as we look more specifically at the fourth quarter [April-June] of Fiscal 2011 National Media Group [magazine] advertising is expected to finish the quarter down in the mid-single digit range compared to the prior year period. I’ll remind you that we currently have two of our three magazine issues closed or our fourth quarter. Local Media Group [television] non-political advertising revenue, with nine weeks remaining in the quarter, is currently pacing up in the mid-single digit range compared to the prior year period. Additionally, the Local Media Group will by cycling against $4 million in net political advertising that we recorded in the fourth quarter of our Fiscal 2010,” Ceryanec advised.