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MEREDITH CORPORATION REPORTS SECOND QUARTER EARNINGS

 MEREDITH CORPORATION REPORTS SECOND QUARTER EARNINGS
 DES MOINES, Iowa, Jan. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Meredith Corporation


(NYSE: MDP) today announced fiscal 1992 second quarter earnings of $4,697,000, or 29 cents per share, for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 1991. This was an increase of $3,074,000, or 19 cents per share, from prior year earnings from continuing operations of $1,623,000, or 10 cents per share.
 In the prior year quarter, the company's net earnings totaled $9,903,000, or 59 cents per share, as earnings from discontinued operations added $8,280,000, or 49 cents per share, to net earnings for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 1990.
 "Although I'm quite pleased to report higher second quarter earnings in our continuing operations, much of the improvement relates to a special reserve which depressed earnings in the prior year quarter," said Jack D. Rehm, president and chief executive officer. "This reserve, amounting to $6 million, was established in the prior year for a pending legal settlement related to a government contract for relocation services.
 "While operating results were improved in our Book Group for the quarter, the recession continued to hold down profits in our advertising-driven business. A significant improvement was realized in the Book Group during the quarter. Direct mail operations, which were impacted by high returns and soft response in the prior year, have benefited from downsizing and restructuring operations. In addition, prior year results were held down by excess inventory write downs and costs associated with discontinuing marginally profitable syndication programs.
 "A decline in Ladies' Home Journal ad pages and newsstand sales held down comparative second quarter profits in our Magazine Group. However, improved ad page counts, increased ad rates and favorable newsstand profits resulted in higher profits for many of our other publications.
 "Broadcasting profits were lower in the current year as soft national and local advertising revenues continued to impact profits at most of our television stations.
 "The September sale of our corporate relocation service and the resulting lack of income in the second quarter caused Real Estate Group profits to lag behind prior year.
 "The repurchase of company shares and lower interest rates combined to create a decline in net interest income for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 1991."
 Fiscal 1992 second quarter revenues were $181,309,000, compared with prior year revenues of $190,837,000. The decline was primarily due to the absence of sales from the Fulfillment and corporate relocation operations, which have been sold. In addition, Book Group revenues declined due to downsizing the book club business and the termination of several syndication programs. FIRST SIX MONTHS:
 Net earnings for the six month period ended Dec. 31, 1991, were $7,579,000, or 46 cents per share. This compares with prior year net earnings of $70,839,000, or $4.21 per share. Prior year net earnings included earnings from discontinued operations in the amount of $60,302,000, or $3.58 per share. These earnings resulted primarily from the September 1990 sale of the Meredith/Burda printing operations and income tax credits from the disposition of subsidiary operations.
 Earnings from continuing operations for the six months ended Dec. 31, 1991, were $7,579,000, or 46 cents per share, as compared with $10,537,000, or 63 cents per share, from the prior year period. Income from continuing operations was boosted in fiscal 1991 by a gain from the disposition of SAIL magazine, which added $3,553,000 (post-tax), or 21 cents per share.
 Comparable operating earnings before the gain on the disposition of SAIL magazine were up $595,000, or 4 cents per share. The net improvement was due to the prior year legal reserve and improved Book Group profits.
 Fiscal 1992 year-to-date revenues were $351,317,000, as compared with prior year revenues of $370,248,000. The decline reflects dispositions, downsizing Book direct mail activities and soft advertising revenues in the Magazine and Broadcasting groups.
 Meredith Corporation, headquartered in Des Moines, is a Fortune 500 diversified media company involved in magazine and book publishing, television broadcasting and residential real estate marketing and franchising.
 MEREDITH CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES
 CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF EARNINGS
 (Dollar amounts in thousands, except per share)
 Three Months Ended Six Months Ended
 12/31/91 12/31/90 12/31/91 12/31/90
 Revenues (less returns
 and allowances) $181,309 $190,837 $351,317 $370,248
 Operating costs and expenses:
 Production, distribution
 and editorial 85,265 90,741 166,427 175,773
 Selling, general and
 administrative 85,619 96,508 167,701 177,243
 Depreciation and
 amortization 3,993 4,408 8,009 8,917
 Total operating costs and
 expenses 174,877 191,657 342,137 361,933
 Income from operations 6,432 (820) 9,180 8,315
 Gain on disposition of SAIL --- --- --- 5,922
 Interest income 1,626 3,783 3,721 5,231
 Interest expense (97) (254) (268) (1,907)
 Earnings from continuing
 operations before income
 taxes 7,961 2,709 12,633 17,561
 Income taxes 3,264 1,086 5,054 7,024
 Earnings from continuing
 operations $4,697 $1,623 $7,579 $10,537
 Discontinued operations:
 Income from printing operations,
 net of income taxes of $847 --- --- --- 2,717
 Gain on disposition of printing
 operations, net of income taxes
 of $70,003 --- --- --- 49,305
 Gain from other operations,
 net of income taxes benefits
 of $12,604 --- 8,280 --- 8,280
 Earnings from discontinued
 operations --- $8,280 --- $60,302
 Net earnings $4,697 $9,903 $7,579 $70,839
 Net earnings per share of
 common stock:
 Earnings from continuing
 operations $.29 $.10 $.46 $.63
 Earnings from discontinued
 operations --- .49 --- 3.58
 Net earnings per share $.29 $.59 $.46 $4.21
 Dividends paid per share $.16 $.16 $.32 $.32
 Average number of shares
 outstanding 16,345,000 16,810,000 16,438,000 16,826,000
 Subject to fiscal year-end adjustments and audit
 -0- 1/21/92
 /CONTACT: Robin Lenocker of Meredith Corporation, 515-284-3386 or 515-279-3744 (after hours)/
 (MDP) CO: Meredith Corporation ST: Minnesota IN: PUB SU: ERN


KH -- MN006 -- 1796 01/21/92 11:50 EST
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