First Trust Advisors LP increased its stake in shares of Meredith Co. (NYSE:MDP) by 147.6% in the 4th quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 44,686 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 26,641 shares during the period. First Trust Advisors LP owned 0.10% of Meredith worth $2,321,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.
Several other hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its holdings in shares of Meredith by 1.1% in the 2nd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 808,300 shares of the company’s stock valued at $41,224,000 after acquiring an additional 8,619 shares during the last quarter. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC increased its holdings in shares of Meredith by 24.3% in the 3rd quarter. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC now owns 6,735 shares of the company’s stock valued at $344,000 after acquiring an additional 1,315 shares during the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC increased its holdings in shares of Meredith by 12.3% in the 3rd quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 15,534 shares of the company’s stock valued at $793,000 after acquiring an additional 1,700 shares during the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its holdings in shares of Meredith by 3.2% in the 3rd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 96,077 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,905,000 after acquiring an additional 3,015 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Commonwealth Bank of Australia purchased a new position in shares of Meredith in the 3rd quarter valued at about $214,000.
A number of research analysts have recently commented on the company. Wolfe Research assumed coverage on Meredith in a report on Friday, December 7th. They issued a “market perform” rating on the stock. Citigroup increased their price objective on Meredith from $61.00 to $67.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, November 29th. TheStreet upgraded Meredith from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a report on Tuesday, November 27th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Meredith from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, February 26th. Finally, Gabelli began coverage on Meredith in a research report on Thursday, February 14th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $54.97 target price for the company. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the stock. Meredith currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $61.39.
Meredith (NYSE:MDP) last announced its earnings results on Monday, February 11th. The company reported $1.53 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.29 by $0.24. The firm had revenue of $853.50 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $859.28 million. Meredith had a positive return on equity of 16.96% and a negative net margin of 1.89%. The business’s revenue was up 104.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.14 EPS. As a group, research analysts forecast that Meredith Co. will post 3.95 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, February 28th were given a $0.575 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, February 27th. This is a boost from Meredith’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.55. This represents a $2.30 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.01%. Meredith’s dividend payout ratio is 90.55%.
In related news, insider John S. Zieser sold 2,550 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.96, for a total value of $145,248.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 4.70% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Meredith Corporation operates as a diversified media company in the United States, Europe, and Asia. It operates in two segments, National Media and Local Media. The National Media segment offers national consumer media brands through various media platforms, including print magazines, digital and mobile media, brand licensing activities, database-related activities, affinity marketing, and business-to-business marketing products and services.
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