Meredith (NYSE:MDP) Raised to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Meredith (NYSE:MDP) from a strong sell rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $41.00 price objective on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Meredith have slid and lagged the industry in the past three months. The stock got hit following fourth-quarter fiscal 2019 results, wherein revenues fell year over year. Also, management’s commentary of commencing fiscal 2020 at a lower profit point than initially expected and soft adjusted earnings view for fiscal year added to woes. Industry experts pointed that Time Inc. buyout is not generating desirable results. Looking into fiscal 2020, Meredith expects lower contribution from consumer related revenues at National Media Group due to low-margin magazine subscriptions inside the legacy Time Inc. brands. Also, Local Media Group will be cycling against record political advertising revenues generated in fiscal 2019. Nonetheless, Meredith expects mid-single digit growth in digital advertising revenue in National Media Group.”

A number of other research analysts also recently commented on the stock. Citigroup lowered their price objective on shares of Meredith from $66.00 to $44.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, October 7th. Wolfe Research set a $30.00 price objective on shares of Meredith and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Friday, September 6th. Guggenheim set a $35.00 price objective on shares of Meredith and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, September 5th. Finally, Benchmark lowered their price objective on shares of Meredith from $68.00 to $48.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, September 12th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Meredith currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $42.16.

Meredith stock opened at $37.87 on Wednesday. The firm’s 50 day simple moving average is $36.34 and its 200-day simple moving average is $47.60. The company has a market cap of $1.78 billion, a P/E ratio of 7.77, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.46 and a beta of 1.15. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.39, a current ratio of 1.07 and a quick ratio of 1.02. Meredith has a fifty-two week low of $30.69 and a fifty-two week high of $60.95.

Meredith (NYSE:MDP) last released its earnings results on Thursday, November 7th. The company reported $0.99 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.88 by $0.11. The business had revenue of $725.20 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $734.43 million. Meredith had a net margin of 1.47% and a return on equity of 29.93%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 6.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.24 earnings per share. On average, analysts expect that Meredith will post 3.35 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CEO Thomas H. Harty acquired 12,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, September 9th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $35.02 per share, with a total value of $420,240.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 46,455 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,626,854.10. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Director Elizabeth E. Tallett acquired 1,250 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 13th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $37.45 per share, for a total transaction of $46,812.50. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders own 5.30% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of MDP. Quadrant Capital Group LLC bought a new stake in Meredith in the third quarter worth approximately $28,000. Bartlett & Co. LLC bought a new stake in Meredith in the third quarter worth approximately $29,000. Private Capital Group LLC bought a new stake in Meredith in the second quarter worth approximately $31,000. San Francisco Sentry Investment Group CA bought a new stake in Meredith in the second quarter worth approximately $47,000. Finally, Advisory Services Network LLC grew its position in Meredith by 63.1% in the second quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 1,057 shares of the company’s stock worth $58,000 after acquiring an additional 409 shares in the last quarter. 97.03% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Meredith

Meredith Corporation operates as a diversified media company in the United States, Europe, and Asia. It operates in two segments, National Media and Local Media. The National Media segment offers national consumer media brands through various media platforms, including print magazines, digital and mobile media, brand licensing activities, database-related activities, affinity marketing, and business-to-business marketing products and services.

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