Meredith Corp Reports Drop In Revenue, Profit

Magazine publisher Meredith Corp (MDP) today reported a roughly 8 percent drop in earnings on a 3 percent drop in revenue for the 3rd quarter of 2011, the company said.

The National Media Group, which publishes Meredith’s magazines like Better Homes & Gardens, was slightly less profitable in this quarter ($48 million) than a year ago ($51 million), but by looking at the first three quarters of the year taken as a whole, the media group is doing slightly better, with an operating profit of $128 million, up 6 percent from $121 million in the first three quarters of 2010. (Looking at the company as a whole–which also runs a number of local TV stations and a marketing arm–profits are up 37 percent for the first three quarters of the year.)

A surprising (to us) revenue stream: licensed merchandise. (We thought only Martha was winning in this area.) But 3,000 Better Homes & Garden-branded products are being sold at Wal-marts across the country and revenue from this project is up 15 percent, the company said.

Since magazines operate on a different time schedule than the rest of us, Meredith is able to make predictions for how the rest of 2011 will turn out: the company expects full-year earnings per share to range from $2.72 to $2.78, or about 20 percent higher than 2010’s results. Magazine advertising is expected to be down in the single digits while TV advertising will be up 10 percent or less.