Meredith Corp. Reports Operating Results (10-Q)
Meredith Corp has a market cap of $1.62 billion; its shares were traded at around $35.48 with a P/E ratio of 14.5 and P/S ratio of 1.2. The dividend yield of Meredith Corp stocks is 2.6%. Meredith Corp had an annual average earning growth of 4.2% over the past 10 years.Hedge Fund Gurus that owns MDP: Paul Tudor Jones of The Tudor Group, Jim Simons of Renaissance Technologies LLC, Bruce Kovner of Caxton Associates. Mutual Fund and Other Gurus that owns MDP: John Rogers of ARIEL CAPITAL MANAGEMENT LLC, Chuck Royce of Royce& Associates, Mario Gabelli of GAMCO Investors, Jeremy Grantham of GMO LLC.
Highlight of Business Operations:Net interest expense decreased to $3.4 million in the fiscal 2011 second quarter compared with $5.7 million in the comparable prior-year quarter. For the six months ended December 31, 2010, net interest expense was $6.9 million versus $10.8 million in the comparable prior-year period. Average long-term debt outstanding was $270 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2011 and $279 million for the six-month period compared with $353 million in the prior year second quarter and $360 million in the prior year six-month period. The Company's approximate weighted average interest rate was 4.9 percent in the first six months of fiscal 2011 and 5.7 percent in the first six months of fiscal 2010.
Net earnings were $40.6 million ($0.88 per diluted share) in the quarter ended December 31, 2010, up 114 percent from $19.0 million ($0.42 per diluted share) in the comparable prior-year quarter. For the six months ended December 31, 2010, earnings were $66.3 million ($1.45 per diluted share), an increase of 78 percent from prior-year six month earnings of $37.3 million ($0.82 per diluted share). The improvements were primarily the result of revenue growth and higher operating profit in our local media segment and improved profits in our interactive media and brand licensing operations partially offset by an income tax benefit recorded in the first quarter of fiscal 2010. Both average basic and diluted shares outstanding increased slightly in the current quarter and in the six-month period.
Cash and cash equivalents decreased $30.4 million in the first six months of fiscal 2011; they decreased $4.0 million in the comparable period of fiscal 2010. Net cash provided by operating activities was primarily used for acquisitions, capital investments, debt repayments, and dividends.
Net cash used by financing activities totaled $75.2 million in the six months ended December 31, 2010, compared with $48.8 million for the six months ended December 31, 2009. The increase in cash used for financing activities is primarily due to debt being paid down by a net $55.0 million in the current year compared to it being paid down by a net $30.0 million in the prior year.
At December 31, 2010, long-term debt outstanding totaled $245.0 million ($175.0 million in fixed-rate unsecured senior notes and $70.0 million under an asset-backed commercial paper facility). Of the senior notes, $50.0 million is due in the next 12 months. We expect to repay these senior notes with cash from operations and credit available under existing credit agreements. The weighted average effective interest rate for the fixed-rate notes was 5.72 percent. The interest rate on the asset-backed commercial paper facility changes monthly and is based on the average commercial paper cost to the lender plus a fixed spread. As of December 31, 2010, the asset-backed commercial paper facility had a capacity of up to $100 million. It is expected to renew on or before its expiration date of March 29, 2011.
As part of our ongoing share repurchase program, we spent $6.0 million in the first six months of fiscal 2011 to repurchase approximately 187,000 shares of common stock at then current market prices. We spent $0.2 million to repurchase 6,900 shares in the first six months of fiscal 2010. We expect to continue repurchasing shares from time to time subject to market conditions. As of December 31, 2010, approximately 1.1 million shares were authorized for future repurchase. The status of the repurchase program is reviewed at each quarterly Board of Directors meeting. See Part II, Item 2 (c), Issuer Repurchases of Equity Securities, of this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for detailed information on share repurchases during the quarter ended December 31, 2010.
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