DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) ¿ A $5 million decline in political advertising revenue contributed to a drop in its fiscal first-quarter net income for magazine, TV and radio station owner Meredith Corp. ¿ and it would have been worse without a tax benefit. The publisher of Better Homes and Gardens, and Ladies Home Journal earned $18.3 million, or 40 cents per share, in the quarter. But the quarter included a 6-cent-per-share tax benefit. In the same quarter last year, Meredith earned $18.6 million, or 41 cents. Revenue fell nearly 10 percent to $332.4 million from $364.1 million, short of the $343 million analysts had been expecting, according to Thomson Reuters. The adjusted profit of 34 cents per share was in line with forecasts. Meredith's national media group, which includes its magazines, saw revenue fall by 7.5 percent to $271.6 million. Ad revenue fell by 5 percent and circulation revenue dipped 2 percent. Operating profit rose 14 percent due to lower operating costs and paper prices. But the company said its market share in magazine ad revenue rose to 12.2 percent in the quarter from 8.7 percent a year ago, citing figures from the Publishers Information Bureau.
The local media group, including its TV and radio stations, saw revenue fall 12.8 percent to $60.8 million chiefly due to fewer political ads. Revenue from non-political ads fell 7 percent, with over half of the decline from auto. But Meredith noted that was an improvement over the company's fiscal fourth quarter, when non-political ad revenue fell 20 percent. Looking ahead, Meredith said it expects to earn 33 cents to 38 cents per share in the second quarter. Analysts were expecting 35 cents per share. It affirmed its full-year 2010 earnings forecast of $1.60 to $2 per share, excluding the tax benefit. Analysts were expecting $1.81 per share. Shares of Meredith, which is based in Des Moines, 86 cents, or 3 percent, to $28.58 in afternoon trading.