Meredith Corporation

Meredith  (MDP - Get Report) lost more than a quarter of its market value on Thursday after the publisher reported stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter adjusted earnings but  a weaker-than-expected outlook.

The stock was trading off nearly 27% at $32.11.

For the quarter ended June 30, the media company, from Des Moines, Iowa, posted a loss of 72 cents a share, wider than the year-earlier loss of 6 cents. Adjusted earnings in the quarter were $1.79 a share against $1.31.

Sales slipped to $785.6 million from $798.7 million.

A survey of analysts by FactSet produced consensus estimates for the quarter of adjusted earnings of $1.57 a share on revenue of $772.6 million.

Strengthening the performance of the print and digital editions of the Time Inc. assets that Meredith acquired at the beginning of 2018 has taken longer than expected, the company said in a statement.

But "we remain confident in the long-term vision and potential of the National Media Group brand portfolio," the company said. That brand group includes titles like People, Better Homes and Gardens and Martha Stewart Living.

Fourth-quarter comparable ad revenue in the national group rose, including by double-digit percent in digital ad revenue at the legacy Time Inc. publications.

"[We] begin fiscal 2020 at a lower profit point than originally expected," Chief Executive Tom Harty said.

"In addition, we are planning strategic investments to further strengthen our performance and maximize shareholder value over time. Both of these factors contribute to a reset of our financial expectations in the outlook we're providing."

For the first quarter, the company expects to earn an adjusted 88 cents to 93 cents a share. FactSet's survey is looking for an adjusted $1.23 a share.

For all of fiscal 2020, Meredith is looking for adjusted earnings of $5.75 to $6.20 a share. Revenue should range $3 billion to $3.2 billion. FactSet's survey was looking for adjusted profit of $6.41 a share on sales of $3.04 billion.