Meredith Corporation (NYSE:MDP) Q1 2017 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Oct 27, 2016 • 11:00 am ET


Meredith Corporation (NYSE:MDP) Q1 2017 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Fiscal First Quarter Earnings Results Conference Call. At this time all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later we will have an opportunity for questions and answers with instructions given at that time. (Operator Instructions) And as a reminder today's conference call is being recorded.

I would now like to turn the conference call over to your host, Mike Lovell. Please go ahead.

Michael Lovell

Hi. Good morning and thanks, everyone, for joining us. On our call this morning, we'll begin with comments from Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Steve Lacy, and Chief Financial Officer, Joe Ceryanec, and then we'll turn the call over to questions. Also on the line this morning are Chief Operating Officer, Tom Harty, as well as National Media Group President, Jon Werther, and Local Media Group President Paul Karpowicz.

An archive of today's discussion will be available later today on our investor website and a transcript will follow.

(Forward-Looking Cautionary Statements)

And with that, Steve will begin.

Stephen Mark Lacy

Thank you very much, Mike, and good morning, everyone. Before I discuss our results, as Mike mentioned, joining us on the call today are Tom Harty in his new role as President and Chief Operating Officer and Jon Werther in his new position as the President of our National Media Group. These promotions are part of a very structured and strategic succession planning process that Meredith has successfully executed for many years. Including our Local Media Group President, Paul Karpowicz, Chief Financial Officer, Joe Ceryanec, and Chief Development Officer John Zieser, Meredith continues to benefit from a seasoned and very results oriented senior leadership team that I believe in fact is unmatched in the media industry.

Now for our results; I hope you've had the opportunity to see our news release which was issued earlier today. I'm very pleased to report record first quarter fiscal 2017 earnings of $0.75 per share. That compares to $0.24 in the prior year period. Excluding special items in the prior year, first quarter fiscal 2017 earnings per share grew by 44%. Total company revenues increased 4% to a record $400 million, while total advertising revenue increased 3% to $226 million. First quarter fiscal 2017 performance was characterized by four key elements. First of all, strong growth in Local Media Group revenue, operating profit and EBITDA driven by record political, advertising and retransmission related revenue. In addition, local digital advertising revenues increased by more than 20%.

Second, National Media Group digital advertising revenues increased 15%. Digital advertising revenues accounted for nearly 30% of total National Media Group revenue in the quarter. Third: our continued efforts to expand connection with the individual consumer across Meredith's media platforms. Magazine readership continues at an impressive 127 million monthly readers. Traffic to our digital and mobile sites grew 13% to an average of 81 million monthly unique visitors. Additionally, our television stations delivered a strong July rating book. And finally, ongoing execution of our total shareholder return strategy that