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MERIDITH CORPORATION REPORTS THIRD QUARTER EARNINGS

 DES MOINES, Iowa, April 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Substantial gains in Magazine Group profits and improved results in Book Group operations led Meredith Corporation (NYSE: MDP) to improved net earnings and significant increases in income from operations for the third consecutive quarter.
 For the third quarter ended March 31, 1993, the company today announced net earnings of $5,352,000, or 35 cents per share, compared with $4,941,000, or 31 cents per share, in the prior-year period. Excluding the impact of the company's cable television investments, earnings per share were 46 cents, an increase of more than 30 percent from comparable earnings per share in the prior-year period. This figure reflects adjustment for the cable operating loss, lower interest income attributable to the cable investment and higher interest expense related to financing of cable acquisitions.
 "We continue to be pleased by the strong performance of our Magazine Grouptitles were up more than 8 percent for the group, leading to a significant gain in profits. We're especially encouraged by the continued strong results produced by our two largest titles, Better Homes and Gardens and Ladies' Home Journal. In addition, three of our newer magazines, Country America, Golf for Women and Traditional Home, turned in healthy ad revenue increases in the third quarter.
 "We are encouraged by the progress made in our Book Group in the current fiscal year," Rehm continued. "The restructuring efforts in the group during the last fiscal year continue to reap positive results. Increased retail sales, lower inventory reserves and book returns, and decreased promotional spending in our book clubs led the group to significantly improved performance in the most recent quarter.
 "Local revenues continue to be strong in most of our broadcast markets," Rehm commented. "However, national advertising revenues remain soft, holding back the Broadcast Group's profits for the quarter.
 "Results in our real estate operations improved slightly over the prior-year quarter," Rehm said.
 Selling, general and administrative expenses were up 17 percent for the quarter due to the acquisition of North Central Cable and increased subscription, marketing and promotion expenses.
 Revenues for the fiscal 1993 third quarter were $198,718,000, an increase of $21 million or 12 percent from prior-year revenues of $177,441,000, primarily reflecting the addition of revenues from the company's most recent cable system acquisition.
 First Nine Months
 Net earnings for the nine-month period ended March 31, 1993, were $13,502,000, or 88 cents per share, compared with $12,280,000, or 76 cents per share, before the cumulative effect of a change in accounting principle in the prior year. Excluding the impact of the company's cable television investments, earnings per share were $1.19, a gain of more than 40 percent from comparable earnings per share in the prior-year period. Primary factors leading to the earnings improvement were increased operating margins for Better Homes and Gardens and Ladies' Home Journal, and improved Book Group operating results.
 Earnings in the first nine months of the prior year reflected the adoption of Statement of Financial Accounting Standards (SFAS) No. 106 related to postretirement benefits. This resulted in a one-time charge of $7,300,000 and net earnings of $4,980,000, or 31 cents per share, in the prior-year period.
 Revenues for the first nine months of fiscal 1993 increased approximately $44 million to $566,287,000, up from $522,289,000 in the prior year. Higher Magazine Group revenues and revenues from the company's cable operations contributed to the 8 percent increase.
 Meredith Corporation, headquartered in Des Moines, is a Fortune 500 diversified media company involved in magazine and book publishing, television broadcasting, residential real estate marketing and franchising, and investments in cable television systems.
 MEREDITH CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES
 CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF EARNINGS
 (Unaudited)
 (Dollar amounts in thousands, except per share)
 Three Months Ended Nine Months Ended
 3/31/93 3/31/92(a) 3/31/93 3/31/92(a)
 Revenues (less returns
 and allowances):
 Advertising $84,344 $84,475 $245,477 $237,310
 Circulation 61,055 59,243 181,468 174,465
 Consumer books 21,427 19,396 62,557 64,200
 All other 31,892 14,327 76,785 46,314
 Total revenues 198,718 177,441 566,287 522,289
 Operating Costs and
 Expenses:
 Production, distribution
 and editorial 81,079 83,251 239,772 243,060
 Selling, general and
 administrative 96,491 82,408 272,996 251,001
 Depreciation and
 amortization 8,817 4,606 23,687 12,615
 Total operating costs and
 expenses 186,387 170,265 536,455 506,676
 Income from operations 12,331 7,176 29,832 15,613
 Interest income 340 1,333 1,615 5,054
 Interest expense (3,066) (393) (6,857) (661)
 Minority interests 221 120 1,031 463
 Earnings before income taxes
 and cumulative effect of
 change in accounting
 principle 9,826 8,236 25,621 20,469
 Income taxes 4,474 3,295 12,119 8,189
 Earnings from continuing
 operations before
 cumulative effect of
 change in accounting
 priniciple $5,352 $4,941 $13,502 $12,280
 Cumulative effect of
 change in Accounting
 Principle SFAs No. 106,
 net of tax benefit
 of $4,475 - - - (7,300)
 Net earnings $5,352 $4,941 $13,502 $4,980
 Net earnings per share of
 common stock:
 Earnings from continuing
 operations before
 cumulative effect of
 change in accounting
 principle $0.35 $0.31 $0.88 $0.76
 Cumulative effect of change
 in accounting principle - - - (0.45)
 Net earnings per share $0.35 $0.31 $0.88 $0.31
 Dividends paid per share $0.16 $0.16 $0.48 $0.48
 Average number of shares
 outstanding 15,127,000 15,919,000 15,371,000 16,265,000
 Subject to fiscal year-end adjustments and audit.
 (a) Fiscal 1992 has been restated to conform with current year presentation and to reflect the adoption of SFAs No. 106 as of July 1, 1991.
 -0- 4/22/93
 /CONTACT: Robin Lenocker of Meredith Corporation, 515-284-3386, or 515-279-3744 (home)/
 (MDP)


CO: Meredith Corporation ST: Iowa IN: PUB SU: ERN

MA -- MN012 -- 9442 04/22/93 12:24 EDT
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Date:Apr 22, 1993
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