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Meredith reports fourth-quarter loss driven by Time Inc. costs


Meredith Corp. reported fourth-quarter revenue of $786 million, compared with $799 million in the year-ago period. The company recorded a loss from continuing operations for the quarter of $4 million, or 51 cents per share, including $62 million of net after-tax special items, primarily related to restructuring and integration costs from its Time Inc. acquisition. Comparing full-year fiscal 2019 with 2018, earnings from continuing operations, which include special items in both periods, were $129 million in 2019, compared with $114 million in 2018. Meredith recorded $94 million of net after-tax special items in 2019, primarily related to restructuring and integration costs related to the Time Inc. acquisition, and a noncash impairment charge related to certain trademarks. Operating profit for the National Media Group increased nearly 50% to $126 million in fiscal 2019, and Local Media Group operating profit also increased nearly 50%, to $278 million. “Our National Media Group delivered improved comparable advertising performance in every quarter of fiscal 2019, and our Local Media Group achieved another year of record performance,” Meredith President and CEO Tom Harty said in an earnings release. “Of particular note, our television station group recorded an all-time high of $103 million of political advertising revenues, along with continued double-digit growth in retransmission revenue.” Harty said that improving the performance of the Time Inc. print and digital assets has taken longer than expected, but “we remain confident in the long-term vision and potential of the National Media Group brand portfolio.” The company expects 2020 revenues to range from $3 billion to $3.2 billion. Meredith’s stock price was down 26% in midmorning trading.

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