The Des Moines, Iowa-based publisher’s net earnings jumped to $37.8 million in the second quarter ending Dec. 31, up from $18.6 million the previous year. On an adjusted basis, earnings per share were $2.06, beating expectations forecasts for $1.66, according to Factset data.
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Total revenue came in at $811 million. While this was down from $878 million in the prior year, it surpassed estimates of $793 million.
“We are pleased to report a strong second quarter driven by excellent advertising performance across both businesses,” said Meredith president and chief executive officer Tom Harty. “With our two-year integration process of the Time Inc. acquisition largely complete, we are now in the strongest competitive position in Meredith’s history.”
The news boosted its share price 15.1 percent to $34.90 as investors appeared to be buoyed that Meredith had largely completed fully integrating the Time Inc. brands it kept after reports last year that it was struggling in some instances.
It acquired Time Inc. for $2.8 billion in January 2018, becoming the largest magazine publisher in the U.S. Shortly after the acquisition, it set about trying to offload some of its high-profile titles, including Time, Fortune and Sports Illustrated. It kept People, which is now its prized asset, as well as InStyle, Travel + Leisure, Entertainment Weekly, Real Simple and Southern Living and closed Family Circle, Money and Martha Stewart Weddings magazines.
Elsewhere, Harty noted that increasing consumer related revenues were reducing its reliance on traditional advertising, while its local television business continued to perform at record levels, and it is anticipating strong political advertising.
“Bloomberg is certainly having an impact across most of our footprint.…If the headlines are to be believed, he’s going to double his spending and that will be beneficial certainly. So that’s another cautiously optimistic opportunity for us,” he added during a call with analysts.
For the full, year, Meredith expects revenues to range from $3 billion to $3.2 billion, unchanged from September’s guidance.
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