Meredith's CEO Presents At Citi Entertainment, Media And Telecommunications Conference (Transcript)

Meredith Corp. ( MDP)

Citi Entertainment, Media and Telecommunications Conference Call

January 04, 2012 05:00 pm ET

Executives

Analysts

Presentation

Unidentified Company Representative

[Abrupt Start] certain of the information that we talk about today will be forward-looking in nature and this slide is simply a reminder of the factors that could impact our business as we go forward. I thought I'd start with a very quick summary of the businesses that we operate in across media platforms. Our National Media branded businesses serve 80 million unduplicated women online and offline each and every month and we're clearly the leading media company that focuses primarily on women today.

Our Local Media Business reaches about 10% of the US households across the country and our business-to-business marketing service activity generates about a $180 million and we serve leading corporate clients including Kraft, Nestle, Chrysler and Lowe's. We provide them with a very deep expertise in digital, social, mobile and database marketing capabilities.

Our ability as a company over many, many years to generate very strong free cash flow is really a hallmark of the Meredith Corporation and we are in a strong financial position with the capacity to fulfill on our ongoing commitment to total shareholder return.

As some of you maybe aware, at the end of October we raised our dividend by 50% and also got a new $100 million share repurchase authorization from the Meredith Board of Directors. We have successfully extended our brands across multiple media platform giving our consumers the true flexibility to access our content as they prefer. We've built scale across those platforms to attract advertisers and marketers alike who want to reach our targeted and mass audiences.

Our consumer readership and engagement related to our national media brands is really quite strong with over a 110 million readers and 35 million unique visitors to our website each and every month. We see promising consumer metrics from our new tablet products and our mobile apps. Viewership at our local media group is quite strong as well and we monetize that growing audience by delivering what has now been eight straight quarters of growth in non-political advertising revenues.

In addition, we create a better television show that is syndicated and in fact reaches 80% of the US households and that’s up from about 50% a year ago at this time. And finally we built a very powerful presence for our Better Homes and Gardens brand at retail with a broad relationship with Wal-Mart where today we have over 3000 SKUs of product at every Wal-Mart store in the US and in Canada.

To drive growth as we look to the future and revenue profit and of course cash flow, we are aggressively focused on these strategic growth initiatives. We have had strong execution against these goals and I will spend just a few moments reviewing our accomplishments and then take you through the details of our recently announced financial strategy. We have a great deal of confidence in the strength of our brand, of our robust business model and our ability to sustain and grow cash flow as we look to the future.

The strength and consistency of that cash flow is really rooted in the brands that comprise both our national and our local media businesses. Since advertising is one of the primary revenue generators, let me start with some key initiatives that we're pursuing to improve our results in that area.

So far in our fiscal 2012, we have successfully increased our reach in share of the food category across a variety of media platforms. We launched recently the multi-channel brand, recipe.com, acquired the popular Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine and its related digital assets. The EatingWell Media Group and just a few hours earlier today, we announced an agreement with Walt Disney Company to acquire their family food brand.

The acquisition of that popular brand includes the magazine with a guaranteed rate base of 2.1 million and a readership of about 6 million and the related digital assets. That business really targets moms, with children ages 3 through 12 and is a really great compliment to our leading parenthood franchise.

We’ve also been working to increase our scale in other growth advertising categories including beauty, retail and entertainment. We’ve used this strategy successfully over the last decade as we more than doubled our share of magazine advertising revenue across the industry through organic growth and also acquisition and that’s stronger growth than any of our peers in the industry.

Our sales initiatives are really focused on two broad areas. First magazine advertising to our large, core advertising accounts. And second, integrated programs that feature our multi-platform assets and are sold by a senior team that we called Meredith 360. Our Local Media Group continues to deliver industry-leading growth in non-political advertising revenue and to continue that top performance we are pursuing strategies to maximize both political and non-political revenue.

Every indication is that this coming election cycle will be robust and we are looking forward to a strong political season in calendar 2012. As I like to say it doesn’t appear that any incumbent is safe at this point. We are taking advantage of digital tools and technology in this business as well to deliver our content to local consumers including traffic and weather information and this gives us a great opportunity to imbed those advertising messages as well.

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