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Meredith posts higher 1Q earnings, revenue

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Women's magazine publisher Meredith Corp. said Thursday that its fiscal first-quarter net income rose 15 percent as both circulation and ad revenue increased, thanks largely to recent acquisitions.

The publisher of Better Homes and Gardens, Parents and Fitness magazines said its results were boosted by strength in political advertising and its purchases of Allrecipes.com, EveryDay with Rachael Ray and FamilyFun brands.

Meredith posted earnings of $24.9 million, or 55 cents per share, in the July-September period. That's up from $21.6 million, or 48 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier.

Revenue rose 8 percent to $354.2 million from $327.9 million. Advertising revenue grew 12 percent to $207.1 million while circulation revenue gained 13 percent to $75.5 million. Excluding the acquisitions, Meredith said its circulation revenue would have been flat.

Analysts, on average, were expecting earnings of 53 cents per share on revenue of $357.4 million, according to a poll by FactSet.

For the current quarter, the company expects earnings of 80 cents to 85 cents per share. That's below the 86 cents per share that analysts have forecast, on average. Meredith said it still expects fiscal 2013 earnings of $2.60 to $2.95 per share. Analysts are forecasting $2.80 per share, slightly higher than the midpoint of the company's guidance.

The company's shares fell $1.36, or 4 percent, to close at $32.91 on the weak second-quarter outlook. A year ago the stock traded at a low of $26.03 but rose to peak at $37.84 in September before giving back some gains.