Thursday, July 31, 2008

Meredith Reports Continued Negative Impact from Book Program

Meredith Corporation reported a significant decrease in fourth quarter revenues. Revenues were $385mm versus $428 for the prior period. Earnings per share were $0.41 in 2008 versus $1.05 in the fourth quarter Fiscal 2007. Full year EPS were $2.83 versus $3.31. While the company adjusted these numbers for their 'special charge' associated with business realignment the investment community hit the company hard with their stock price down 6%.

From thier press release:

Meredith recorded an after-tax special charge of $16 million in the fourth fiscal quarter, related primarily to the further repositioning of its book publishing business and selected reductions in force. The special charge included adjusting certain book royalties, art and editorial, and inventory accounts, as well as severance for eliminated positions in book and elsewhere in the Company.

In particular the following line items were noted: Increase in book sales return allowance, a write-down of book inventory and editorial prepaid expenses and severance expense, write-down of book royalty, and bad debt reserve for Home Interiors Group receivable.

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