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Meredith (MDP) Earnings and Revenues Deteriorate Y/Y in Q1

Zacks Equity Research

Meredith Corporation MDP reported first-quarter fiscal 2020 results, wherein both earnings and revenues declined from the year-ago period. Lower revenues at National Media Group and Local Media Group hurt the top line. Nonetheless, the company reaffirmed fiscal 2020 projection.

While digital advertising increased, print advertising fell year over year at National Media Group during the reported quarter. Moreover, strong expense management, contributed to the segment’s operating profit. While non-political spot advertising in Local Media Group improved, political spot advertising decreased sharply during the quarter under review.

Shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company have declined 22.8% in the past three months against the industry’s growth of 9.6%.

Q1 Highlights

Meredith’s earnings from continuing operations before special items decreased to 3 cents a share from 22 cents reported in the prior-year quarter. Notably, adjusted earnings (excluding the impact of depreciation and amortization) came in at 99 cents, down from $1.24 reported in the year-ago period.

Year-over-year decline in revenues hurt the bottom line. However, lower SG&A costs; fall in production, distribution, and editorial expenses; decline in depreciation and amortization; and reduced interest expense provided some cushion to the bottom line.

Total revenues fell 6.4% to $725.2 million from the prior-year period. The company’s advertising revenues declined 10.8% year over year to $379.6 million. Notably, consumer-related revenues slid 1.4% to $323.1 million, while other revenues improved 6.6% to $22.5 million.

Adjusted EBITDA came in at $122.4 million, down 14.6% from the prior-year period. Adjusted EBITDA margin contracted 160 basis points from the prior-year period to 16.9%.

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