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Meredith Corp. (MDP) Dividend Stock Analysis

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November 16, 2012 – Comments (0) | RELATED TICKERS: MDP , MHFI , MSO

Linked here is a detailed quantitative analysis of Meredith Corp. (MDP). Below are some highlights from the above linked analysis:

Company Description: Meredith Corp. derives its earnings mainly from magazine publishing (primarily Better Homes and Gardens and Ladies' Home Journal) and ownership of 12 TV stations.

Fair Value: In calculating fair value, I consider the NPV MMA Differential Fair Value along with these four calculations of fair value, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description:

1. Avg. High Yield Price
2. 20-Year DCF Price
3. Avg. P/E Price
4. Graham Number

MDP is trading at a premium to all four valuations above. Since MDP's tangible book value is not meaningful, a Graham number can not be calculated. The stock is trading at a 12.2% premium to its calculated fair value of $28.25. MDP did not earn any Stars in this section.

Dividend Analytical Data: In this section there are three possible Stars and three key metrics, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description:

1. Free Cash Flow Payout
2. Debt To Total Capital
3. Key Metrics
4. Dividend Growth Rate
5. Years of Div. Growth
6. Rolling 4-yr Div. > 15%

MDP earned three Stars in this section for 1.), 2.) and 3.) above. A Star was earned since the Free Cash Flow payout ratio was less than 60% and there were no negative Free Cash Flows over the last 10 years. The stock earned a Star as a result of its most recent Debt to Total Capital being less than 45%. MDP earned a Star for having an acceptable score in at least two of the four Key Metrics measured. The company has paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since 1930 and has increased its dividend payments for 20 consecutive years.

Dividend Income vs. MMA: Why would you assume the equity risk and invest in a dividend stock if you could earn a better return in a much less risky money market account (MMA) or Treasury bond? This section compares the earning ability of this stock with a high yield MMA. Two items are considered in this section, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description:

1. NPV MMA Diff.
2. Years to > MMA

MDP earned a Star in this section for its NPV MMA Diff. of the $19,807. This amount is in excess of the $1,500 target I look for in a stock that has increased dividends as long as MDP has. The stock's current yield of 4.83% exceeds the 2.42% estimated 20-year average MMA rate.

Memberships and Peers: MDP is a member of the S&P 500 and a member of the Broad Dividend Achievers™ Index. The company's peer group includes:  Martha Stewart Living (MSO) with a 0.0% yield, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. (MHP) with a 2.0% yield and Scholastic Corporation (SCHL) with a 1.6% yield.

Conclusion: MDP did not earn any Stars in the Fair Value section, earned three Stars in the Dividend Analytical Data section and earned one Star in the Dividend Income vs. MMA section for a total of four Stars. This quantitatively ranks MDP as a 4-Star Strong stock.

Using my D4L-PreScreen.xls model, I determined the share price would need to increase to $87.44 before MDP's NPV MMA Differential decreased to the $1,500 minimum that I look for in a stock with 20 years of consecutive dividend increases. At that price the stock would yield 1.8%.

Resetting the D4L-PreScreen.xls model and solving for the dividend growth rate needed to generate the target $1,600 NPV MMA Differential, the calculated rate is 3.4%. This dividend growth rate is lower than the 13.0% used in this analysis, thus providing a significant margin of safety. MDP has a risk rating of 1.5 which classifies it as a Low risk stock.

MDP operates in a highly competitive environment and lacks an economic moat. Licensing deals have allowed the company to leverage its strong brands into incremental and profitable revenue streams. Growth from non-political advertising is expected to slow within its print publications over the next five years. Its outlook does not fit the criteria for my Dividend Growth Portfolio. However, it is currently generating significant cash and will likely do so for the next several years. Thus, I will continue to add it to my High-Yield Portfolio when it is trading near my calculated fair value of $28.25, and as my allocation allows.

Disclaimer: Material presented here is for informational purposes only. The above quantitative stock analysis, including the Star rating, is mechanically calculated and is based on historical information. The analysis assumes the stock will perform in the future as it has in the past. This is generally never true. Before buying or selling any stock you should do your own research and reach your own conclusion. See my Disclaimer for more information.

Full Disclosure: At the time of this writing, I was long in MDP (4.9% of my High-Yield Portfolio). See a list of all my dividend growth holdings here.

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