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The registrant estimates that the aggregate market value of voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates of the registrant at December 31, 2011, was $1,134,000,000 based upon the closing price on the New York Stock Exchange at that date.
ITEM 1. BUSINESS
Meredith Corporation is the leading media and marketing company serving American women. Meredith began in 1902 as an agricultural publisher. In 1924, the Company published the first issue of Better Homes and Gardens. The Company entered the television broadcasting business in 1948. Today Meredith engages in magazine publishing and related brand licensing, television broadcasting, digital and customer relationship marketing, digital and mobile media, and video creation operations. The Company is incorporated under the laws of the State of Iowa. Our common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol MDP.
The Company operates two business segments: national media and local media. The national media segment includes magazine publishing, brand licensing, digital and customer relationship marketing, digital and mobile media, database-related activities, and other related operations. The local media segment consists primarily of the operations of network-affiliated television stations, related digital and mobile media, and video creation operations. Financial information about industry segments can be found in Item 7-Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and in Item 8-Financial Statements and Supplementary Data under Note 16.
Our national media segment includes leading national consumer media brands delivered over multiple platforms, brand licensing activities, and business-to-business marketing products and services. It focuses on the home and family market and is a leading publisher of magazines serving women. In fiscal 2012, we published in print more than twenty subscription magazines, including Better Homes and Gardens, Family Circle, Ladies' Home Journal, Parents, FamilyFun, American Baby, and EveryDay with Rachael Ray, and more than 120 special interest publications. The national media segment's extensive digital media presence now consists of 30 websites and mobile websites, 20 applications (apps), and 20 brands with recurring digital editions available on various digital platforms. The national media segment also includes: digital and customer relationship marketing, which provides specialized marketing products and services to some of America's leading companies; a large consumer database; brand licensing activities; and other related operations.
Our local media segment consists of 12 network-affiliated television stations located across the United States (U.S.) in mostly fast growing markets and a national video creation unit. The television stations consist of six CBS affiliates, three FOX affiliates, two MyNetworkTV affiliates, and one NBC affiliate. Local media digital media includes 20 websites and mobile websites and 30 apps focused on news, sports, and weather.
The Company's largest revenue source is advertising. National and local economic conditions affect the magnitude of our advertising revenues. Both national media and local media revenues and operating results can be affected by changes in the demand for advertising and consumer demand for our products. Magazine circulation revenues are generally affected by national and regional economic conditions and competition from other forms of media. Television advertising is seasonal and cyclical to some extent, traditionally generating higher revenues in the second and fourth fiscal quarters and during key political contests and major sporting events.
In July 2011, Meredith acquired the EatingWell Media Group (EatingWell), a multichannel brand focused on healthy eating. The EatingWell portfolio includes the award-winning bi-monthly magazine, a content-rich website, a robust content licensing and custom marketing program, the Healthy-in-a-Hurry mobile recipe app, and a series of high-quality food and nutrition-related books and cookbooks. In January 2012, Meredith raised the magazine's rate base from 350,000 to 500,000.
In October 2011, Meredith invested in iris Nation Worldwide Limited (iris), a leading global marketing services company. At the same time, we announced the creation of the Meredith-iris Global Network to serve the increasing global needs of our domestic clients and to open doors to international clients.
In October 2011, the Company acquired EveryDay with Rachael Ray magazine and its related digital assets. The magazine is published 10 times annually with a 7.4 million audience and a 1.7 million rate base. In addition, Meredith announced it had finalized a 10-year licensing agreement with Watch Entertainment, Inc. for the award-winning brand. The first issue of EveryDay with Rachael Ray published under the Meredith banner was February 2012, which was available on newsstands in early January.
In January 2012, Meredith completed the acquisition of FamilyFun. The acquisition included the highly popular magazine, with an audience of 6 million and rate base of 2.1 million, and its related assets, including its special interest publications, as well as the Toy Hopper and other digital magazine apps. FamilyFun targets moms with a special focus on family activities such as cooking, crafts, celebrations, and travel.
In March 2012, Meredith completed the acquisition of Allrecipes.com, Inc. (Allrecipes.com), the world's largest digital food brand. The acquisition of Allrecipes.com places Meredith first in comScore, Inc.'s (comScore) Food Community rankings, and more than doubles the audience for the Meredith Women's Network.
With these acquisitions, Meredith can now offer advertisers and marketers access to more than 100 million unduplicated American women across all media platforms.
In May 2012, the Company acquired ShopNation Inc. (ShopNation), an e-commerce technology company based in Los Angeles that owns proprietary technology that aggregates and organizes relevant data and images from retailer websites in specific product categories.
In June 2012, Meredith announced the offering of digital editions of our most popular magazines including Family Circle, EveryDay with Rachael Ray, Ladies' Home Journal, and More on Google Play. Google Play is one of several digital newsstands that give consumers the ability to purchase magazines for tablet devices. Meredith is rapidly expanding and optimizing our mobile offerings to deliver valuable, relevant experiences for women across smartphones and tablets. In fiscal 2012, Meredith launched a variety of new digital products, including tablet editions of most of our national brands, and rapidly expanded our mobile platforms in both businesses. Meredith currently has 20 brands available in tablet forms across all the major platforms, and approximately 50 mobile apps.
DESCRIPTION OF BUSINESS
National media represented 77 percent of Meredith's consolidated revenues in fiscal 2012. Better Homes and Gardens magazine, our flagship brand, continues to account for a significant percentage of revenues and operating profit of the national media segment and the Company.
Information for our major magazine titles as of June 30, 2012, follows:
In addition to these major magazines titles, we published approximately 120 special interest publications under approximately 75 titles in fiscal 2012, primarily under the Better Homes and Gardens brand. The titles are issued from one to eight times annually and sold primarily on newsstands. A limited number of subscriptions are also sold to certain special interest publications. The following titles were published quarterly or more frequently: American Patchwork & Quilting, Country Gardens, Diabetic Living, Do It Yourself, Kitchen and Bath Ideas, Quilts & More, Renovation Style, and Scrapbooks etc.
Magazine Advertising—Advertising revenues are generated primarily from sales to clients engaged in consumer marketing. Many of Meredith's larger magazines offer regional and demographic editions that contain similar editorial content but allow advertisers to customize messages to specific markets or audiences. The Company sells two primary types of magazine advertising: display and direct-response. Advertisements are either run-of-press (printed along with the editorial portions of the magazine) or inserts (preprinted pages). Most of the national media segment's advertising revenues are derived from run-of-press display advertising. Meredith also possesses a strategic marketing unit, Meredith 360°, which provides clients and their agencies with access to the full range of media products and services Meredith has to offer, including many media platforms. Our team of creative and marketing experts delivers innovative solutions across multiple media channels that meet each client's unique advertising and promotional requirements.
Magazine Circulation—Subscriptions obtained through direct-mail solicitation, agencies, insert cards, the Internet, and other means are Meredith's largest source of circulation revenues. All of our subscription magazines, except American Baby, Ser Padres, and Successful Farming, are also sold by single copy. Single copies sold on newsstands are distributed primarily through magazine wholesalers, who have the right to receive credit from the Company for magazines returned to them by retailers.
Meredith Interactive Media
National media's 30 websites provide ideas and inspiration. These branded websites focus on the topics that women care about most—food, home, and entertaining, and meeting the needs of moms—and on delivering powerful content geared toward lifestyle topics such as health, beauty, style, and wellness.
Meredith completed the acquisition of Allrecipes.com, the world's largest digital food brand in fiscal 2012. The acquisition of Allrecipes.com places Meredith first in comScore's Food Community rankings, and more than doubles the audience for the Meredith Women's Network.
Driven primarily by the acquisition of Allrecipes.com, fiscal 2012 fourth quarter unique visitors and page views more than doubled from the prior-year quarter. National media now has 20 apps focused on food, parenthood, and health. These apps had more than 5 million downloads in fiscal 2012. Also during fiscal 2012, Meredith tripled our magazine subscriptions generated online to a record 3.2 million. This represents about a quarter of our total annual subscription orders.
During fiscal 2012, we also rapidly expanded our tablet platforms. Our national brands have more than 350,000 tablet customers interacting with 20 of our brands across the six major digital newsstands. This includes our recent launch on Google Play, and a new unlimited offer with Next Issue Media that includes Better Homes and Gardens, Parents, and Fitness.
Other Sources of Revenues
Other revenues are derived from digital and customer relationship marketing, other custom publishing projects, brand licensing agreements, ancillary products and services, book sales, and licensing agreements.
Meredith Xcelerated Marketing—Meredith Xcelerated Marketing (MXM) is a digital and customer relationship marketing agency with the proven ability to create measurable programs that are focused on building customer engagement for corporate clients through the use of content and innovation. Its revenue is independent of advertising and circulation, though sometimes its services are sold as part of larger programs that include advertising components. In fiscal 2012, major clients included Kraft, Nestlé, Lowe's, Honda, Chrysler, and State Farm.
MXM's heritage lies in its more than 40 years of experience in creating custom content programs and customer relationship marketing platforms. Over the last several years, we set in motion a plan to transform MXM from a pure custom publisher into a marketing services agency, expanding MXM's marketing capabilities to digital, social media, database analytics, healthcare, and mobile media.
Today, MXM provides clients with in-depth knowledge, resources, and expertise in core areas including loyalty, consumer research, database management and analytics, mobile, campaign management, social, and digital. MXM uses these capabilities together with its top-notch editorial talent to create content that is relevant, measurable, and on-target.
MXM possesses six offices in the U.S.: New York; Los Angeles; Detroit; Des Moines; Arlington, VA; and Dallas. In fiscal 2012, Meredith invested in the global marketing company iris, which is based in London and has offices throughout the world. As part of this investment, Meredith created the Meredith-iris Global Network, serving the increasing global needs of MXM's domestic clients while also opening the doors to new clients in the European and Asia-Pacific markets.
Brand Licensing—Brand licensing consists of the licensing of various proprietary trademarks in connection with retail programs conducted through a number of retailers and manufacturers, and multiple licensing agreements that extend several of Meredith's brands internationally.
Our Better Homes and Gardens brand licensing program continues to grow at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (Walmart). Currently there are more than 3,000 SKUs of Better Homes and Gardens branded products available at Walmart stores across the U.S. During fiscal 2012, Meredith extended this licensing agreement with Walmart through 2016.
We continued to expand our international reach through international licensing agreements. During fiscal 2012, Meredith began a licensing relationship with Vienna-based Liquid 7, the digital content division of Atlantic Group, to launch Sunny 7, an online network aimed at adult women. Sunny 7 integrates content from Meredith brands such as Better Homes and Gardens, Parents, Fitness, and Family Circle across digital and social media. Meredith also entered into license arrangements for Parents and Better Homes and Gardens in the Gulf States markets of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Oman, as well as for Diabetic Living in Greece and Hungary. Meredith's titles are currently distributed in nearly 60 countries - including more than 25 licensed local editions in countries such as Australia, Canada, China, Indonesia, Italy, and Turkey.
Other licensing activities include a long-term agreement to license the Better Homes and Gardens brand to Realogy Corporation, which continues to build a residential real estate franchise system based on the Better Homes and Gardens brand; a licensing agreement with Universal Furniture International, which includes a full line of wooden and upholstered furniture for living rooms, bedrooms, and dining rooms; and a partnership with Five Star Mattress for a Better Homes and Gardens mattress collection.
The Company continues to pursue brand extensions that will serve consumers and advertisers alike and also extend and strengthen the reach and vitality of our brands.
Meredith Books—John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (Wiley) has exclusive global rights to publish and distribute books based on Meredith's consumer-leading brands, including the powerful Better Homes and Gardens imprint. Meredith creates book content and retains all approval and content rights. Wiley is responsible for book layout and design, printing, sales and marketing, distribution, and inventory management. Wiley pays Meredith royalties based on net sales subject to a guaranteed minimum. Separate from Wiley, Meredith publishes and promotes books under licensed trademarks including The Home Depot®.
Production and Delivery
Paper, printing, and postage costs accounted for 35 percent of the national media segment's fiscal 2012 operating expenses.
Coated publication paper is the major raw material essential to the national media segment. We directly purchase all of the paper for our magazine production and our custom publishing business and a majority of the paper for book production. The Company has contractual agreements with major paper manufacturers to ensure adequate supplies for planned publishing requirements. The price of paper is driven by overall market conditions and is therefore difficult to predict. Paper prices declined in fiscal 2010. In fiscal 2011, average paper prices increased 3 percent. In fiscal 2012, average paper prices increased 3 percent as compared to fiscal 2011 paper prices. Management anticipates paper prices will rise in the low to mid-single digits during fiscal 2013 and that fiscal 2013 average paper prices will be down in the low-single digits compared to fiscal 2012.
Meredith has printing contracts with several major domestic printers for our magazines. The Company has a contract with a major U.S. printer for the majority of our book titles.
Postage is a significant expense of the national media segment. We continually seek the most economical and effective methods for mail delivery, including cost-saving strategies that leverage work-sharing opportunities offered within the postal rate structure. Periodical postage accounts for approximately 75 percent of Meredith's postage costs, while other mail items—direct mail, replies, and bills—account for approximately 25 percent. The Governors of the United States Postal Service (USPS) review prices for mailing services annually and adjust postage rates periodically. Though prices and price increases for various USPS products vary, overall average price increases are capped by law at the rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index, which was 2.1 percent. Prices have risen in six of the last seven years for Meredith, including fiscal 2012. There was no increase in fiscal 2010.
Meredith continues to work solely and with others to encourage and help the USPS find and implement efficiencies to contain rate increases. We cannot, however, predict future changes in the postal rates or the impact they will have on our national media business.
Fulfillment services for Meredith's national media segment are provided by third parties. National magazine newsstand distribution services are provided by third parties through multi-year agreements.
Publishing is a highly competitive business. The Company's magazines and related publishing products and services compete with other mass media, including the Internet and many other leisure-time activities. Competition for advertising dollars is based primarily on advertising rates, circulation levels, reader demographics, advertiser results, and sales team effectiveness. Competition for readers is based principally on editorial content, marketing skills, price, and customer service. While competition is strong for established titles, gaining readership for newer magazines and specialty publications is especially competitive.
Local media represented 23 percent of Meredith's consolidated revenues in fiscal 2012. Certain information about the Company's television stations at June 30, 2012, follows:
The principal sources of the local media segment's revenues are: 1) local advertising focusing on the immediate geographic area of the stations; 2) national advertising; 3) retransmission of our television signal to satellite and cable systems; 4) advertising on the stations' websites; 5) station operation management fees; and 6) payments by advertisers for other services, such as the production of advertising materials.
The stations sell commercial time to both local/regional and national advertisers. Rates for spot advertising are influenced primarily by the market size, number of in-market broadcasters, audience share, and audience demographics. The larger a station's share in any particular daypart, the more leverage a station has in setting advertising rates. Generally, as the market fluctuates with supply and demand, so does a station's advertising rates. Most national advertising is sold by independent representative firms. The sales staff at each station generates local/regional advertising revenues.
Typically 30 to 40 percent of a market's television advertising revenue is generated by local newscasts. Station personnel are continually working to grow their news ratings, which in turn will augment revenues. The Company broadcasts local newscasts in high definition in six of our markets and in wide screen format in our other four markets.
The national network affiliations of Meredith's 12 television stations also influence advertising rates. Generally, a network affiliation agreement provides a station the exclusive right to broadcast network programming in its local service area. In return, the network has the right to sell most of the commercial advertising aired during network programs. Network-affiliated stations generally pay networks for certain programming and services such as professional football and news services. The Company's Fox affiliates also pay the Fox network for additional advertising spots during prime-time programming.
The Company recently renewed our affiliation agreements for four of our six CBS affiliates. We are currently in negotiations to renew our three Fox affiliation agreements, which expired at the end of June 2012, but have been extended to August 31, 2012. Programming fees paid to CBS will increase significantly beginning in fiscal 2013. We also expect programming fees paid to Fox to increase beginning in fiscal 2013. These payments are in essence a portion of the retransmission fees that Meredith receives from cable, satellite, and telecommunications firms, which pay Meredith to carry its local television programming in their markets.
Beyond fiscal 2013, the affiliation agreement for our NBC affiliate expires at the end of December 2013. Our two MyNetworkTV affiliation agreements expire in September 2014. The affiliation agreements for our CBS affiliates have expiration dates that range from April 2016 to August 2017. While Meredith's relations with the networks historically have been very good, the Company can make no assurances they will remain so over time.
We also generate revenue from cable, satellite and internet-based television service providers who pay Meredith for access to our television station signals so that they may rebroadcast our signals and charge their subscribers for this programming. We refer to such revenue as retransmission revenue. In fiscal 2013, a majority of Meredith's retransmission agreements expire and Meredith expects to significantly increase the amount of retransmission fees it generates as it renews these agreements.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has permitted broadcast television station licensees to use their digital spectrum for a wide variety of services such as high-definition television programming, audio, data, mobile applications, and other types of communication, subject to the requirement that each broadcaster provide at least one free video channel equal in quality to the current technical standards. Several of our stations are broadcasting a second programming stream on their digital channel. Our Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Hartford stations currently broadcast a weather channel, Flint-Saginaw has a MyNetworkTV affiliate, and Kansas City added Bounce TV, a network with African American focused programming.
The costs of television programming are significant. There are two principal programming costs for Meredith: locally produced programming, including local news; and purchased syndicated programming. The Company
continues to increase our locally produced news and entertainment programming to control content and costs and to attract advertisers. Syndicated programming costs are based largely on demand from stations in the market and can fluctuate significantly.
Meredith Video Studios (MVS) produces our daily lifestyle television show - Better - which continues to expand its reach, and will be seen in more than 150 markets nationwide covering about 80 percent of U.S. television households.
Further, MVS is a development, production, and multiplatform distribution company that produces video for use by Meredith's television stations and our local and national media websites, and is producing custom video for clients as well. Better.tv supports the Better shows, with video information on topics including food, family, home, style, entertainment, fitness, and health. Sponsorship opportunities include video billboards, product integration, channel sponsorships, and custom videos.
Meredith's television stations compete directly for advertising dollars and programming in their respective markets with other local television stations, radio stations, and cable television providers. Other mass media providers such as newspapers and their websites are also competitors. Advertisers compare market share, audience demographics, and advertising rates, and take into account audience acceptance of a station's programming, whether local, network, or syndicated.
The ownership, operation, and sale of broadcast television and radio stations, including those licensed to the Company, are subject to the jurisdiction of the FCC, which engages in extensive regulation of the broadcasting industry under authority granted by the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (Communications Act), including authority to promulgate rules and regulations governing broadcasting. The Communications Act requires broadcasters to serve the public interest. Among other things, the FCC assigns frequency bands; determines stations' locations and operating parameters; issues, renews, revokes, and modifies station licenses; regulates and limits changes in ownership or control of station licenses; regulates equipment used by stations; regulates station employment practices; regulates certain program content, including commercial matters in children's programming; has the authority to impose penalties for violations of its rules or the Communications Act; and imposes annual fees on stations. Reference should be made to the Communications Act, as well as to the FCC's rules, public notices, and rulings for further information concerning the nature and extent of federal regulation of broadcast stations.
Broadcast licenses are granted for eight-year periods. The Communications Act directs the FCC to renew a broadcast license if the station has served the public interest and is in substantial compliance with the provisions of the Communications Act and FCC rules and policies. Management believes the Company is in substantial compliance with all applicable provisions of the Communications Act and FCC rules and policies and knows of no reason why Meredith's broadcast station licenses will not be renewed.
The FCC has, on occasion, changed the rules related to local ownership of media assets, including rules relating to the ownership of one or more television stations in a market. The FCC's media ownership rules are subject to further review by the FCC, various court appeals, petitions for reconsideration before the FCC, and possible actions by Congress. We cannot predict the impact of any of these developments on our business.
The Communications Act and the FCC also regulate relationships between television broadcasters and cable and satellite television providers. Under these provisions, most cable systems must devote a specified portion of their channel capacity to the carriage of the signals of local television stations that elect to exercise this right to mandatory carriage. Alternatively, television stations may elect to restrict cable systems from carrying their signals without their written permission, referred to as retransmission consent. Congress and the FCC have established and implemented generally similar market-specific requirements for mandatory carriage of local television stations by satellite television providers when those providers choose to provide a market's local television signals.
The FCC has enacted a proposed plan, called the National Broadband Plan, to increase the amount of spectrum available in the United States for wireless broadband use. In furtherance of the National Broadband Plan, Congress has enacted and the President has signed into law new legislation authorizing the FCC to conduct a “reverse auction” for which television broadcast licensees could submit bids to receive compensation in return for relinquishing all or a portion of their rights in the television spectrum of their full service and/or Class A stations. Under the new law, the FCC may hold one reverse auction, and another auction for the newly freed spectrum. The FCC must complete both auctions by 2022.
Even if a television licensee does not participate in the reverse auction, the results of the auction could materially impact a station's operations. The FCC has the authority to force a television station to change channels and/or modify its coverage area to allow the FCC to rededicate certain channels within the television band for wireless broadband use. We cannot predict whether or how this will affect the Company or its television stations.
In addition to the National Broadband Plan, Congress and the FCC have under consideration, and in the future may adopt, new laws, regulations, and policies regarding a wide variety of other matters that also could affect, directly or indirectly, the operation, ownership transferability, and profitability of the Company's broadcast stations and affect the ability of the Company to acquire additional stations. In addition to the matters noted above, these could include spectrum usage fees, regulation of political advertising rates, restrictions on the advertising of certain products (such as alcoholic beverages), program content restrictions, and ownership rule changes.
Other matters that could potentially affect the Company's broadcast properties include technological innovations and developments generally affecting competition in the mass communications industry for viewers or advertisers, such as home video recording devices and players, satellite radio and television services, cable television systems, newspapers, outdoor advertising, and Internet delivered video programming services.
The information provided in this section is not intended to be inclusive of all regulatory provisions currently in effect. Statutory provisions and FCC regulations are subject to change, and any such changes could affect future operations and profitability of the Company's local media segment. Management cannot predict what regulations or legislation may be adopted, nor can management estimate the effect any such changes would have on the Company's television and radio broadcasting operations.
EXECUTIVE OFFICERS OF THE COMPANY
Executive officers are elected to one year terms each November. The current executive officers of the Company are:
Stephen M. Lacy—Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer and a director of the Company since 2004. Formerly President and Chief Executive Officer (2006 - 2010). Age 58.
Thomas H. Harty—President-National Media Group. Formerly President-Consumer Magazines (2009 - 2010) and Vice President-Magazine Group (2004 - 2009). Age 49.
Paul A. Karpowicz—President-Local Media Group (2005 - present). Age 59.
Joseph H. Ceryanec—Vice President-Chief Financial Officer (2008 - present). Prior to joining Meredith, Mr. Ceryanec served as President, Central Region for PAETEC Corporation (February 2008 - October 2008). Prior to PAETEC's acquisition of McLeodUSA, Mr. Ceryanec served as McLeodUSA's Group Vice President, Chief Financial Officer from 2005 to 2008. Age 51.
John S. Zieser—Chief Development Officer/General Counsel and Secretary (2006 - present). Age 53.
As of June 30, 2012, the Company had approximately 3,300 full-time and 110 part-time employees. Only a small percentage of our workforce is unionized. We consider relations with our employees to be good.
Name recognition and the public image of the Company's trademarks (e.g., Better Homes and Gardens and Parents) and television station call letters are vital to the success of our ongoing operations and to the introduction of new business. The Company protects our brands by aggressively defending our trademarks and call letters.
The Company had no material expenses for research and development during the past three fiscal years. Revenues from individual customers and revenues, operating profits, and identifiable assets of foreign operations were not significant. Compliance with federal, state, and local provisions relating to the discharge of materials into the environment and to the protection of the environment had no material effect on capital expenditures, earnings, or the Company's competitive position.
The Company's corporate website is meredith.com. The content of our website is not incorporated by reference into this Form 10-K. Meredith makes available free of charge through our website our Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports filed or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 as soon as reasonably practical after such documents are electronically filed with or furnished to the SEC. Meredith also makes available on our website our corporate governance information including charters of all of our Board Committees, our Corporate Governance Guidelines, our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, our Code of Ethics for CEO and Senior Financial Officers, and our Bylaws. Copies of such documents are also available free of charge upon written request.
FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS
This Form 10-K, including the sections titled Item 1-Business, Item 1A-Risk Factors, and Item 7-Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, contains forward-looking statements that relate to future events or our future financial performance. We may also make written and oral forward-looking statements in our SEC filings and elsewhere. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risks, trends, and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in any forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to, those items described in Item 1A-Risk Factors below, those identified elsewhere in this document, and other risks and factors identified from time to time in our SEC filings. We have tried, where possible, to identify such statements by using words such as believe, expect, intend, estimate, may, anticipate, will, likely, project, plan, and similar expressions in connection with any discussion of future operating or financial performance. Any forward-looking statements are and will be based upon our then-current expectations, estimates, and assumptions regarding future events and are applicable only as of the dates of such statements. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements that are part of this filing; actual results may differ materially from those currently anticipated. The Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.
ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS
In addition to the other information contained or incorporated by reference into this Form 10-K, investors should consider carefully the following risk factors when investing in our securities. In addition to the risks described below, there may be additional risks that we have not yet perceived or that we currently believe are immaterial.
Advertising represents the largest portion of our revenues. In fiscal 2012, 56 percent of our revenues were derived from advertising. Advertising constitutes almost half of our national media revenues and almost 90 percent of our local media revenues. Demand for advertising is highly dependent upon the strength of the U.S. economy. During an economic downturn, demand for advertising may decrease. The growth in alternative forms of media, for example the Internet, has increased the competition for advertising dollars, which could in turn reduce expenditures for magazine and television advertising or suppress advertising rates.
Technology in the media industry continues to evolve rapidly. Advances in technology have led to an increasing number of alternative methods for the delivery of content and have driven consumer demand and expectations in unanticipated directions. If we are unable to exploit new and existing technologies to distinguish our products and services from those of our competitors or adapt to new distribution methods that provide optimal user experiences, our business, financial condition, and prospects may be adversely affected. Technology developments also pose other challenges that could adversely affect our revenues and competitive position. New delivery platforms may lead to pricing restrictions, the loss of distribution control, and the loss of a direct relationship with consumers. We may also be adversely affected if the use of technology developed to block the display of advertising on websites proliferates.
Circulation revenues represent a significant portion of our revenues. Magazine circulation is another significant source of revenue, representing 21 percent of total revenues and 27 percent of national media revenues. Preserving circulation is critical for maintaining advertising sales. Magazines face increasing competition from alternative forms of media and entertainment. As a result, sales of magazines through subscriptions and at the newsstand could decline. As publishers compete for subscribers, subscription prices could decrease and marketing expenditures may increase.
Client relationships are important to our brand licensing and consumer relationship marketing businesses. Our ability to maintain existing client relationships and generate new clients depends significantly on the quality of our products and services, our reputation, and the continuity of Company and client personnel. Dissatisfaction with our products and services, damage to our reputation, or changes in key personnel could result in a loss of business.
Paper and postage prices may be difficult to predict or control. Paper and postage represent significant components of our total cost to produce, distribute, and market our printed products. In fiscal 2012, these expenses accounted for 26 percent of national media's operating costs. Paper is a commodity and its price has been subject to significant volatility. All of our paper supply contracts currently provide for price adjustments based on prevailing market prices; however, we historically have been able to realize favorable paper pricing through volume discounts and multi-year contracts. The USPS distributes substantially all of our magazines and many of our marketing materials. Postal rates are dependent on the operating efficiency of the USPS and on legislative mandates imposed upon the USPS. Although we work with others in the industry and through trade organizations to encourage the USPS to implement efficiencies that will minimize rate increases, we cannot predict with certainty the magnitude of future price changes for paper and postage. Further, we may not be able to pass such increases on to our customers.
World events may result in unexpected adverse operating results for our local media segment. Our local media results could be affected adversely by world events such as wars, political unrest, acts of terrorism, and natural disasters. Such events can result in significant declines in advertising revenues as the stations will not broadcast or will limit broadcasting of commercials during times of crisis. In addition, our stations may have higher newsgathering costs related to coverage of the events.
Our local media operations are subject to FCC regulation. Our broadcasting stations operate under licenses granted by the FCC. The FCC regulates many aspects of television station operations including employment practices, political advertising, indecency and obscenity, programming, signal carriage, and various technical matters. Violations of these regulations could result in penalties and fines. Changes in these regulations could impact the results of our operations. The FCC also regulates the ownership of television stations. Changes in the ownership rules could affect our ability to consummate future transactions. Details regarding regulation and its impact on our local media operations are provided in Item 1-Business beginning on page 9.
Loss of or changes in affiliation agreements could adversely affect operating results for our local media segment. Our broadcast television station business owns and operates 12 television stations. Six are affiliated with CBS, three with Fox, two with MyNetworkTV, and one with NBC. These television networks produce and distribute programming in exchange for each of our stations' commitment to air the programming at specified times and for commercial announcement time during the programming. The non-renewal or termination of any of our network affiliation agreements would prevent us from being able to carry programming of the affiliate network. This loss of programming would require us to obtain replacement programming, which may involve higher costs and/or which may not be as attractive to our audiences, resulting in reduced revenues. The Company recently renewed our affiliation agreements for four of our six CBS affiliates. The expiration dates for our CBS affiliation agreements have expiration dates that range from April 2016 to August 2017. We are currently in negotiations to renew our three Fox affiliation agreements, which expired at the end of June 2012, but have been extended to August 31, 2012. The affiliation agreement for our NBC affiliate expires at the end of December 2013. Our two MyNetworkTV affiliation agreements expire in September 2014. In conjunction with these renegotiations, the television networks are seeking arrangements with their affiliates to change the structure of network compensation, including seeking payment from affiliates for the network’s programming. Programming fees paid to CBS will increase significantly beginning in fiscal 2013. We also expect programming fees paid to Fox to increase beginning in fiscal 2013.
Acquisitions pose inherent financial and other risks and challenges. As a part of our strategic plan, we have acquired businesses and we expect to continue acquiring businesses in the future. These acquisitions can involve a number of risks and challenges, any of which could cause significant operating inefficiencies and adversely affect our growth and profitability. Such risks and challenges include underperformance relative to our expectations and the price paid for the acquisition; unanticipated demands on our management and operational resources; difficulty in integrating personnel, operations, and systems; retention of customers of the combined businesses; assumption of contingent liabilities; and acquisition-related earnings charges. If our acquisitions are not successful, we may record unexpected impairment charges. Our ability to continue to make acquisitions will depend upon our success at identifying suitable targets, which requires substantial judgment in assessing their values, strengths, weaknesses, liabilities and potential profitability, as well as the availability of suitable candidates at acceptable prices, and whether restrictions are imposed by regulations. Moreover, competition for certain types of acquisitions is significant, particularly in the field of interactive media. Even if successfully negotiated, closed, and integrated, certain acquisitions may not advance our business strategy and may fall short of expected return on investment targets.
Impairment of goodwill and intangible assets is possible, depending upon future operating results and the value of the Company's stock. We test our goodwill and intangible assets, including FCC licenses, for impairment during the fourth quarter of every fiscal year and on an interim basis if indicators of impairment exist. Factors which influence the evaluation include the Company's stock price and expected future operating results. If the carrying value of a reporting unit or an intangible asset is no longer deemed to be recoverable, a potentially material impairment charge could be incurred. Although these charges would be non-cash in nature and would not affect the Company's operations or cash flow, they would adversely affect stockholders' equity and reported results of operations in the period charged.
We have two classes of stock with different voting rights. We have two classes of stock: common stock and Class B stock. Holders of common stock are entitled to one vote per share and account for approximately 30 percent of the voting power. Holders of Class B stock are entitled to ten votes per share and account for the remaining 70
percent of the voting power. There are restrictions on who can own Class B stock. The majority of Class B shares are held by members of Meredith's founding family. Control by a limited number of holders may make the Company a less attractive takeover target, which could adversely affect the market price of our common stock. This voting control also prevents other shareholders from exercising significant influence over certain of the Company's business decisions.
ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
ITEM 2. PROPERTIES
Meredith is headquartered in Des Moines, IA. The Company owns buildings at 1716 and 1615 Locust Street and is the sole occupant of these buildings. The Company believes these facilities are adequate for their intended use.
The national media segment operates mainly from the Des Moines offices and from a leased facility in New York, NY. The New York facility is used primarily as advertising sales offices for all Meredith magazines and as headquarters for Family Circle, Ladies' Home Journal, Parents, FamilyFun, American Baby, EveryDay with Rachael Ray, Fitness, More, and Siempre Mujer properties. Allrecipes.com operates out of leased space in Seattle, WA. We have also entered into leases for magazine editorial offices, customer relationship marketing operations, and national media sales offices in the states of California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Texas, Vermont, and Virginia. The Company believes these facilities are sufficient to meet our current and expected future requirements.
The local media segment operates from facilities in the following locations: Atlanta, GA; Phoenix, AZ; Beaverton, OR; Rocky Hill, CT; Nashville, TN; Fairway, KS; Greenville, SC; Henderson, NV; Springfield, MA; Saginaw, MI; and New York, NY. The Company believes these properties are adequate for their intended use. The properties in Springfield and New York are leased, while the other properties are owned by the Company. Each of the broadcast stations also maintains one or more owned or leased transmitter sites.
ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
There are various legal proceedings pending against the Company arising from the ordinary course of business. In the opinion of management, liabilities, if any, arising from existing litigation and claims will not have a material effect on the Company's earnings, financial position, or liquidity.
ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT'S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED SHAREHOLDER MATTERS, AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
MARKET INFORMATION, DIVIDENDS, AND HOLDERS
The principal market for trading Meredith's common stock is the New York Stock Exchange (trading symbol MDP). There is no separate public trading market for Meredith's Class B stock, which is convertible share for share at any time into common stock. Holders of both classes of stock receive equal dividends per share.
The range of trading prices for the Company's common stock and the dividends per share paid during each quarter of the past two fiscal years are presented below.
Meredith stock became publicly traded in 1946, and quarterly dividends have been paid continuously since 1947. Meredith has increased our dividend in each of the last 19 years. It is currently anticipated that comparable dividends will continue to be paid in the future.
On July 31, 2012, there were approximately 1,275 holders of record of the Company's common stock and 650 holders of record of Class B stock.
COMPARISON OF SHAREHOLDER RETURN
The following graph compares the performance of the Company's common stock during the period July 1, 2007, to June 30, 2012, with the Standard and Poor's (S&P) MidCap 400 Index and with a peer group of companies engaged in multimedia businesses primarily with publishing and/or television broadcasting in common with the Company. The peer group was revised this fiscal year to include Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. and remove The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. The graph includes both the revised peer group (New Peer Group) and the peer group used in prior years (Old Peer Group).
The S&P MidCap 400 Index is comprised of 400 mid-sized U.S. companies with a market cap in the range of $1.0 billion to $4.4 billion in the financial, information technology, industrial, and consumer discretionary industries covering approximately 7 percent of the U.S. equities market and is weighted by market capitalization. The New Peer Group selected by the Company for comparison, which is also weighted by market capitalization, is comprised of Belo Corp.; Gannett Co., Inc.; Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.; Media General, Inc.; The E.W. Scripps Company; and The Washington Post Company. The Old Peer Group, which is also weighted by market capitalization, is comprised of Belo Corp.; Gannett Co., Inc.; The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.; Media General, Inc.; The E.W. Scripps Company; and The Washington Post Company. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. was removed from the New Peer Group as it is no longer in the same lines of business as the Company.
The graph depicts the results for investing $100 in the Company's common stock, the S&P MidCap 400 Index, the New Peer Group, and the Old Peer Group at closing prices on June 30, 2007, assuming dividends were reinvested.
ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
The following table sets forth information with respect to the Company's repurchases of common stock during the quarter ended June 30, 2012.
In May 2008, the Board of Directors authorized the repurchase of up to 2.0 million additional shares of the Company's stock through public and private transactions. In November 2011, repurchases under this authorization were completed.
In October 2011, the Board of Directors authorized the repurchase of up to $100.0 million in additional shares of the Company's stock through public and private transactions.
For more information on the Company's share repurchase program, see Item 7-Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, under the heading "Share Repurchase Program" on page 35.
ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
Selected financial data for the fiscal years 2008 through 2012 is contained under the heading "Five-Year Financial History with Selected Financial Data" beginning on page 80 and is derived from consolidated financial statements for those years. Information contained in that table is not necessarily indicative of results of operations in future years and should be read in conjunction with Item 7-Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and Item 8-Financial Statements and Supplementary Data of this Form 10-K.
ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations (MD&A) consists of the following sections:
MD&A should be read in conjunction with the other sections of this Form 10-K, including Item 1-Business, Item 6-Selected Financial Data, and Item 8-Financial Statements and Supplementary Data. MD&A contains a number of forward-looking statements, all of which are based on our current expectations and could be affected by many risks and uncertainties including the uncertainties and risk factors described throughout this filing, particularly in Item 1A-Risk Factors.
Meredith Corporation is the leading media and marketing company serving American women. Meredith features multiple well-known national brands—including Better Homes and Gardens, Parents, Family Circle, Allrecipes.com, Ladies' Home Journal, Fitness, More, American Baby, EveryDay with Rachael Ray, and FamilyFun—with local television brands in fast growing markets such as Atlanta, Phoenix, and Portland. Meredith is the industry leader in creating content in key consumer interest areas such as home, family, food, health and wellness, and self-development. Meredith uses multiple distribution platforms—including print, television, digital, mobile, tablets, and video—to give consumers content they desire and to deliver the messages of our advertising and marketing partners. Additionally, Meredith uses our many assets to create powerful custom marketing solutions for many of the nation's top brands and companies.
Meredith operates two business segments. The national media segment consists of magazine publishing, digital and mobile media, digital and customer relationship marketing, brand licensing, database-related activities, and other related operations. The local media segment consists of 12 network-affiliated television stations, related digital and mobile media, and video creation operations. Both segments operate primarily in the U.S. and compete against similar media and other types of media on both a local and national basis. In fiscal 2012, the national media segment accounted for 77 percent of the Company's $1.4 billion in revenues while local media segment revenues contributed 23 percent.
In fiscal 2012, Meredith executed a series of well-defined strategic initiatives designed to generate growth in revenues, operating profit, and cash flow - with an overall goal of increasing shareholder value over time. These initiatives included:
In addition, consumer engagement strengthened across Meredith's media platforms in fiscal 2012. Magazine readership rose to a record 116 million. Meredith's local television station group delivered strong ratings in the important sweeps periods. Also, unique visitors per month to Company websites approximately doubled in fiscal 2012 to reach a record high.
Fiscal 2012 was a year of significant achievements. However there were challenges as well. Total national media advertising revenues decreased. Prescription drug advertising continued to be the biggest factor, accounting for half of the declines. MXM revenues also declined.
To address these challenges, Meredith has initiated a multi-faceted improvement strategy that includes:
Meredith has a strong commitment to our shareholders, and a history of returning a meaningful portion of our cash flow from operating activities to our investors in the form of dividends and share repurchases. Going forward, Meredith is focused on four key strategic initiatives designed to accelerate revenue growth and increase operating profit margins and cash flow over time. These include:
•Growing the connection between Meredith's brands and consumers,
•Aggressive expansion of the Company's digital activities,
•Strengthening Meredith's core magazine and television businesses, and
•Extending Meredith's key brands and editorial capabilities to new products and services.
Advertising revenues made up 46 percent of fiscal 2012 national media revenues. These revenues were generated from the sale of advertising space in our magazines and on our websites to clients interested in promoting their brands, products, and services to consumers. Changes in advertising revenues tend to correlate with changes in the level of economic activity in the U.S. Indicators of economic activity include changes in the level of gross domestic product, consumer spending, housing starts, unemployment rates, auto sales, and interest rates. Circulation levels of Meredith's magazines, reader demographic data, and the advertising rates charged relative to other comparable available advertising opportunities also affect the level of advertising revenues.
Circulation revenues accounted for 27 percent of fiscal 2012 national media revenues. Circulation revenues result from the sale of magazines to consumers through subscriptions and by single copy sales on newsstands in print form, primarily at major retailers and grocery/drug stores, and in digital form on tablets. In the short term, subscription revenues, which accounted for 78 percent of circulation revenues, are less susceptible to economic changes because subscriptions are generally sold for terms of one to three years. The same economic factors that affect advertising revenues also can influence consumers' response to subscription offers and result in lower revenues and/or higher costs to maintain subscriber levels over time. A key factor in our subscription success is our industry-leading database. It contains approximately 100 million entries that include information on about three-quarters of American homeowners, providing an average of 800 data points for each name. The size and depth of our database is a key to our circulation model and allows more precise consumer targeting. Newsstand revenues are more volatile than subscription revenues and can vary significantly month to month depending on economic and other factors.
The remaining 27 percent of national media revenues came from a variety of activities that included the sale of customer relationship marketing products and services and books as well as brand licensing, product sales, and other related activities. MXM offers integrated promotional, database management, relationship, and direct marketing capabilities for corporate customers, both in printed and digital forms. These revenues are generally affected by changes in the level of economic activity in the U.S. including changes in the level of gross domestic product, consumer spending, unemployment rates, and interest rates.
National media's major expense categories are production and delivery of publications and promotional mailings and employee compensation costs. Paper, postage, and production charges represented 35 percent of the segment's operating expenses in fiscal 2012. The price of paper can vary significantly on the basis of worldwide demand and supply for paper in general and for specific types of paper used by Meredith. The printing of our publications is outsourced. We typically have multi-year contracts for the printing of our magazines, a practice which reduces price fluctuations over the contract term. Postal rates are dependent on the operating efficiency of the USPS and on legislative mandates imposed on the USPS. The USPS increased rates most recently in January 2012. At this time, the USPS has not proposed any future rate increases. Meredith works with others in the industry and through trade organizations to encourage the USPS to implement efficiencies and contain rate increases.
Employee compensation, which includes benefits expense, represented 26 percent of national media's operating expenses in fiscal 2012. Compensation expense is affected by salary and incentive levels, the number of employees, the costs of our various employee benefit plans, and other factors. The remaining 39 percent of fiscal 2012 national media expenses included costs for magazine newsstand and book distribution, advertising and promotional efforts, and overhead costs for facilities and technology services.
Local media derives the majority of its revenues—88 percent in fiscal 2012—from the sale of advertising both over the air and on our stations' websites. The remainder comes from television retransmission fees, television production services, and other services.
The stations sell advertising to both local/regional and national accounts. Political advertising revenues are cyclical in that they are significantly greater during biennial election campaigns (which take place primarily in odd-numbered fiscal years) than at other times. MVS produces video content for Meredith stations, non-Meredith stations, online distribution, and corporate customers. We have generated additional revenues from Internet activities and programs focused on local interests such as community events and college and professional sports.
Changes in advertising revenues tend to correlate with changes in the level of economic activity in the U.S. and in the local markets in which we operate stations, and with the cyclical changes in political advertising discussed previously. Programming content, audience share, audience demographics, and the advertising rates charged relative to other available advertising opportunities also affect advertising revenues. On occasion, unusual events necessitate uninterrupted television coverage and will adversely affect spot advertising revenues.
Local media's major expense categories are employee compensation and depreciation and amortization. Employee compensation represented 52 percent of local media's operating expenses in fiscal 2012, and is affected by the same factors noted for national media. Depreciation and amortization represented 11 percent of this segment's fiscal 2012 expenses. Sales and promotional activities, costs to produce local news programming, and general overhead costs for facilities and technical resources accounted for most of the remaining 37 percent of local media's fiscal 2012 operating expenses.
FISCAL 2012 FINANCIAL OVERVIEW
relationship marketing, digital and mobile media, magazine, and brand licensing operations. Allrecipes.com also posted an operating loss in fiscal 2012, which contributed to the decline in operating profit. In addition, the national media segment recorded $2.7 million in acquisition costs that were expensed in the period.
RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
Following are brief descriptions of current year acquisitions and of discontinued operations, and a discussion of our rationale for the use of financial measures that are not in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (GAAP), or non-GAAP financial measures, and a discussion of the trends and uncertainties that affected our businesses. Following the Overview is an analysis of the results of operations for the national media and local media segments and an analysis of our consolidated results of operations for the last three fiscal years.
During fiscal 2012, Meredith completed several strategic acquisitions including the July 2011 acquisition of the EatingWell brand, the October 2011 acquisition of EveryDay with Rachael Ray magazine and its related digital assets, the January 2012 acquisition of FamilyFun and its related assets, the March 2012 acquisition of Allrecipes.com, and the May 2012 acquisition of ShopNation. Collectively, these acquisitions are referred to as the "Current Year Acquisitions." The results of these acquisitions have been included in the Company's consolidated operating results since their respective acquisition dates. See Note 2 to the consolidated financial statements for further information. In MD&A disclosures, references to comparable results for fiscal 2012 as compared to fiscal 2011 exclude the impact of the Current Year Acquisitions.
Unless stated otherwise, as in the section titled Discontinued Operations, all of the information contained in MD&A relates to continuing operations. Therefore, results of ReadyMade magazine, which was closed in fiscal 2011, are excluded for all periods covered by this report.
Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures
Our analysis of local media results includes references to earnings from continuing operations before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA). EBITDA and EBITDA margin are non-GAAP measures. We use EBITDA along with operating profit and other GAAP measures to evaluate the financial performance of our local media segment. EBITDA is a common alternative measure of performance in the broadcasting industry and is used by investors and financial analysts, but its calculation may vary among companies. Local media segment EBITDA is not used as a measure of liquidity, nor is it necessarily indicative of funds available for our discretionary use.
We believe the non-GAAP measures used in MD&A contribute to an understanding of our financial performance and provide an additional analytic tool to understand our results from core operations and to reveal underlying trends. These measures should not, however, be considered in isolation or as a substitute for measures of performance prepared in accordance with GAAP.
Trends and Uncertainties
Advertising demand is the Company's key uncertainty, and its fluctuation from period to period can have a material effect on operating results. Advertising revenues accounted for 56 percent of total revenues in fiscal 2012. Other significant uncertainties that can affect operating results include fluctuations in the cost of paper, postage rates and, over time, television programming rights. The Company's cash flows from operating activities, our primary source of liquidity, is adversely affected when the advertising market is weak or when costs rise. One of our priorities is to manage our businesses prudently during expanding and contracting economic cycles to maximize shareholder return over time. To manage the uncertainties inherent in our businesses, we prepare monthly internal forecasts of anticipated results of operations and monitor the economic indicators mentioned in the Executive Overview. See Item 1A-Risk Factors in this Form 10-K for further discussion.
The following discussion reviews operating results for our national media segment, which includes magazine publishing, digital and customer relationship marketing, digital and mobile media, brand licensing, database-related activities, and other related operations. The national media segment contributed 77 percent of Meredith's revenues and 60 percent of the combined operating profit from national media and local media operations in fiscal 2012.
In fiscal 2012, national media revenues decreased 2 percent while segment operating profit declined 26 percent. In fiscal 2011, national media revenues declined 2 percent, and segment operating profit increased 6 percent. National media operating results for the last three fiscal years were as follows:
National Media Revenues
The table below presents the components of revenues for the last three fiscal years.
The following table presents advertising page information according to Publishers Information Bureau for our major subscription-based magazines for the last three fiscal years:
National media advertising revenues decreased 2 percent in fiscal 2012. Magazine advertising revenues decreased 4 percent in fiscal 2012. Total advertising pages decreased in the low-single digits on a percentage basis. On a comparable basis, magazine advertising revenues and total advertising pages decreased 10 percent in fiscal 2012. Revenue declines of 11 percent to 12 percent were seen in our women's service, parenthood, lifestyle, and shelter titles. Exceptions to this were our men's titles, which were flat and our Hispanic titles, which showed strong growth. Among our core advertising categories, non-prescription drugs, pets, and financial services showed strength while demand was weaker for the prescription drug, food and beverage, and household supplies categories. Online
advertising revenues in our digital and mobile media operations are a small but growing percentage of national media advertising revenue. Online advertising revenues in our digital and mobile media operations increased 30 percent. On a comparable basis, online advertising revenues declined 4 percent in fiscal 2012.
In fiscal 2011, magazine advertising revenues decreased 5 percent and advertising pages declined 8 percent with most titles showing declines. Average net revenue per page increased in the mid-single digits on a percentage basis. Among our advertising categories, prescription drugs and retail showed strength, while demand was weaker for most other categories. Though online advertising revenues increased 27 percent in the first half of fiscal 2011, they declined 19 percent in the second half. Overall, they increased 3 percent as compared to the prior year.
Magazine circulation revenues increased 9 percent in fiscal 2012. Comparable magazine circulation revenues were flat as subscription and newsstand revenues were both approximately flat.
Magazine circulation revenues decreased 7 percent in fiscal 2011, reflecting declines in both newsstand and subscription revenues. Subscription revenues were down in the low-single digits on a percentage basis while newsstand revenues were down approximately 15 percent. A portion of the decrease in circulation revenue was expected due to previously announced rate base reductions at Ladies Home Journal and Traditional Home and the January 2010 repositioning of our special interest media business.
Other revenues within national media decreased 10 percent in fiscal 2012. MXM revenues declined approximately 15 percent. The decrease in MXM revenues was primarily due to certain clients of MXM scaling back programs in response to recent economic conditions. Brand licensing revenues were down 8 percent in fiscal 2012 primarily due to the renegotiation of the terms of the extended Wal-Mart contact. This licensing agreement now extends through 2016.
Fiscal 2011 other revenues increased 6 percent. MXM revenues increased 10 percent in fiscal 2011 driven by the expansion of digital and customer relationship management products and services for national clients. Brand licensing revenues grew more than 20 percent in fiscal 2011 driven primarily by continued expansion of the Better Homes and Gardens-branded products at Wal-Mart stores. The number of SKUs of Better Homes and Gardens products increased to 3,000.
National Media Operating Expenses
National media operating expenses increased 3 percent in fiscal 2012. On a comparable basis, national media operating expenses decreased 4 percent. Paper, processing, and postage declined primarily due to the decrease in advertising pages. The decrease in the volume of paper used was partially offset by a 3 percent increase in average paper prices. Performance-based incentives, pension costs, and circulation expenses also declined in fiscal 2012. In accord with MXM's revenues, marketing production expenses also declined. Partially offsetting these decreases was $2.7 million in acquisition costs recorded by the Company in fiscal 2012.
In addition, in fiscal 2012, the national media segment recorded $9.9 million for severance and benefit costs, vacated lease accruals of $1.6 million, the write-off of deferred subscription acquisition costs of $0.7 million, and other miscellaneous write-downs and accruals of $0.4 million. Partially offsetting these charges was a $0.6 million reversal of excess restructuring accrual previously recorded by the national media segment and a $1.0 million reduction in contingent consideration payable.
In fiscal 2011, national media operating costs decreased 3 percent. Consistent with the decline in revenues, processing, paper, and distribution costs decreased primarily due to the decline in advertising pages sold and a repositioning of our special interest media business. An increase in average paper costs of 3 percent compared to the prior year partially offset the expense reductions. Circulation expense, pension and other retirement plan costs, and performance-based incentive accruals also declined. These cost reductions were partially offset by increased
employee compensation costs. Employee compensation costs were up as a result of higher staff levels primarily due to the acquisition of Hyperfactory and higher compensation levels due to annual merit increases.
In fiscal 2011, national media recorded $5.4 million in severance and related benefit costs. Partially offsetting these charges was a $0.9 million reversal of excess restructuring accrual previously recorded by the national media segment. National media also recorded a $6.3 million reduction in the contingent consideration and a write-down of $0.9 million of identifiable intangibles.
National Media Operating Profit
National media operating profit declined 26 percent in fiscal 2012. Comparable national media operating profit decreased 27 percent. The decline in operating profit was primarily due to restructuring charges and acquisition costs as discussed above and due to declines in operating profit in all of national media's lines of business.
In fiscal 2011, national media operating profit grew 6 percent compared with the prior year. Increases in operating profit in our brand licensing and customer relationship marketing operations more than offset lower operating profits in our magazine and digital media operations.
The following discussion reviews operating results for the Company's local media segment, which currently consists of 12 network-affiliated television stations, related digital and mobile media, and video creation operations. The local media segment contributed 23 percent of Meredith's revenues and 40 percent of the combined operating profit from national media and local media operations in fiscal 2012.
Local media revenues decreased 2 percent in fiscal 2012 as strong increases in non-political advertising and other revenues almost offset a $28.3 million reduction in political advertising, which is expected in a non-political year. Operating expenses declined 3 percent. Local media operating profit was unchanged in fiscal 2012.
Local media revenues increased 14 percent in fiscal 2011 as non-political advertising, political advertising, and other revenues all increased. Costs and expenses increased 2 percent. Local media operating profit increased 66 percent in fiscal 2011 on the strength of political and non-political advertising.
Local media operating results for the last three fiscal years were as follows:
Local Media Revenues
The table below presents the components of revenues for the last three fiscal years.
Local media total revenues decreased 2 percent in fiscal 2012, reflecting lower political advertising revenues. Political advertising revenues totaled $6.8 million in the current fiscal year compared with $35.0 million in the prior year. Fluctuations in political advertising revenues at our stations and throughout the broadcasting industry generally follow the biennial cycle of election campaigns (which take place primarily in our odd-numbered fiscal years). Political advertising may displace a certain amount of non-political advertising; therefore, the revenues may not be entirely incremental. Non-political advertising revenues increased 6 percent in fiscal 2012. Local non-political advertising revenues increased 5 percent in fiscal 2012. National non-political advertising revenues increased 3 percent as compared to the prior year. In fiscal 2012, local media's two largest advertising categories, automotive and professional services, each grew revenues by more than 10 percent. Online advertising, a small but growing percentage of non-political advertising revenues, increased more than 50 percent as compared to the prior year. Other revenue increased 26 percent in fiscal 2012, primarily reflecting Meredith's management of Peachtree TV (WPCH-TV) in Atlanta, which began in late March 2011, and increased retransmission fees.
Local media total revenues increased 14 percent in fiscal 2011, reflecting higher non-political advertising revenues and higher political advertising related to the November 2010 elections. Political advertising revenues totaled $35.0 million in fiscal 2011 compared with $9.3 million in the prior year. Non-political advertising revenues increased 4 percent in fiscal 2011 despite political advertising displacing some non-political advertising. Local non-political advertising revenues increased 4 percent in fiscal 2011. National non-political advertising revenues increased 3 percent as compared to the prior year. In fiscal 2011, eight of local media's ten largest advertising categories grew revenues, led by automotive, retail, and media. Online advertising revenues increased 9 percent as compared to the prior year. Other revenue, which was primarily retransmission fees, increased 12 percent in fiscal 2011.
Local Media Operating Expenses
Local media operating expenses decreased 3 percent in fiscal 2012, primarily due to lower film amortization, bad debt expense, employee compensation, production expenses, and pension expense. These declines were partially offset by an increase in legal services expenses. Also partially offsetting the decrease was a vacated lease accrual of $1.1 million and a severance and benefits accrual of $0.1 million recorded in fiscal 2012 in connection with restructuring charges.
Local media operating expenses increased 2 percent in fiscal 2011 as compared to the prior year. Increases in employee compensation, bad debt expense, and production expenses more than offset declines in film amortization, performance-based incentive accruals, and pension and other retirement plan costs.
Local Media Operating Profit
Local media operating profit was unchanged in fiscal 2012 compared with the prior year as growth in non-political and other revenues and lower operating expenses fully offset lower political revenues.
Local media operating profit increased 66 percent in fiscal 2011 as compared to fiscal 2010. The increase was primarily due to the strength of political advertising revenues and higher non-political advertising revenues.
Supplemental Disclosure of Local Media EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA
Meredith's local media EBITDA is defined as local media operating profit plus depreciation and amortization expense. EBITDA is a non-GAAP financial measure and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for GAAP financial measures. See the discussion of management's rationale for the use of EBITDA in the Overview of this section.
Local media EBITDA and EBITDA margin were as follows:
UNALLOCATED CORPORATE EXPENSES
Unallocated corporate expenses are general corporate overhead expenses not attributable to the operating groups. These expenses for the last three years were as follows:
Unallocated corporate expenses decreased 16 percent in fiscal 2012. Performance-based incentive accruals, pension expense, medical costs, consulting fees, and investment spending on tablet platforms declined compared to the prior year. These declines were partially offset by increased building rent as a result of having duplicate space in New York for part of fiscal 2012 related to a move to new space in New York.
Unallocated corporate expenses increased 11 percent in fiscal 2011. Increases in Meredith's investment spending on tablet and mobile platforms and medical and other company benefits more than offset decreases in pension and other retirement plan costs, performance-based incentive accruals, and consulting fees.
Consolidated Operating Expenses
Consolidated operating expenses for the last three fiscal years were as follows:
Production, Distribution, and Editorial Costs
Production, distribution, and editorial costs decreased 1 percent as compared to fiscal 2011. On a comparable basis, production, distribution, and editorial costs decreased 6 percent. Declines in national media paper, processing, postage, and marketing production costs and local media film amortization and production expenses contributed to the reduction.
Fiscal 2011 production, distribution, and editorial costs decreased 3 percent as compared to the prior year. National media processing, paper, and distribution expenses and local media film amortization declined. Marketing production costs declined, primarily due to a shift from print services projects to staff based projects.
Selling, General, and Administrative Expenses
Selling, general, and administrative expenses increased 3 percent in fiscal 2012. Comparable selling, general, and administrative expense decreased 3 percent. Performance-based incentive accruals, pension costs, medical costs, bad debt expense, and consulting fees declined. Partially offsetting these decreases was $2.7 million in acquisition costs recorded by the Company in fiscal 2012. In addition, in fiscal 2012, the Company recorded $10.0 million for severance and benefit costs, vacated lease accruals of $2.7 million, the write-off of deferred subscription acquisition costs of $0.7 million, and other miscellaneous write-downs of $0.4 million related to business realignments. Partially offsetting these charges was a $0.6 million reversal of excess restructuring accrual previously recorded by the national media segment and a $1.0 million reduction in contingent consideration payable.
Fiscal 2011 selling, general, and administrative expenses decreased 1 percent as compared to the prior year. Employee compensation costs, Meredith's investment spending on tablet and mobile platforms, and bad debt expenses increased as compared to the prior year. Consumer relationship marketing expenses also increased due to a shift from print services projects to staff based projects. These increases were offset by lower pension and other retirement plan costs, performance-based incentive accruals, and circulation expenses. The Company also recorded $6.4 million in severance and benefit costs. More than offsetting these charges was a $1.2 million reversal of excess restructuring accrual previously recorded and a $6.3 million reduction in the contingent consideration payable.
Depreciation and Amortization
Depreciation and amortization increased 12 percent in fiscal 2012 as compared to the prior year. On a comparable basis, depreciation and amortization increased 4 percent. The increase is primarily due to depreciation on the leasehold improvements and fixed assets in new leased property in New York.
Depreciation and amortization decreased 3 percent in fiscal 2011, primarily due to lower machinery and computer equipment depreciation.
Employee compensation including benefits was the largest component of our operating expenses in fiscal 2012. Employee compensation represented 33 percent of total operating expenses in fiscal 2012 compared to 35 percent in fiscal 2011 and 33 percent in fiscal 2010. National media paper, production, and postage combined expense was the second largest component of our operating costs in fiscal 2012, representing 27 percent of the total. In fiscal 2011 these expenses represented 29 percent and in fiscal 2010 they were 31 percent.
Income from Operations
Income from operations decreased 18 percent in fiscal 2012 as compared to the prior year. Comparable income from operations decreased 19 percent, primarily due to national media operating profit being lower in all of its lines of business. These declines were partially offset by a decline in unallocated corporate expenses. Local media operating profit was unchanged despite fiscal 2012 being a non-political year.
Income from operations rose 22 percent in fiscal 2011. The increase is primarily a result of revenue growth due to the strength of political advertising and related higher operating profits in our local media segment, as well as increased operating profits from our brand licensing and customer relationship marketing operations. These increases were partially offset by a decline in the operating profit of our magazine operations.
Net Interest Expense
Net interest expense was $12.9 million in fiscal 2012 and fiscal 2011, and $18.5 million in fiscal 2010. Average long-term debt outstanding was $305.4 million in fiscal 2012, $248.8 million in fiscal 2011, and $338.1 million in fiscal 2010. The Company's approximate weighted average interest rate was 4.2 percent in fiscal 2012, 5.2 percent in fiscal 2011, and 5.5 percent in fiscal 2010.
The Company's effective tax rate from continuing operations was 39.6 percent in fiscal 2012, 38.0 percent in fiscal 2011, and 36.6 percent in fiscal 2010. The fiscal 2012 rate reflected the tax consequences of a smaller current year decrease in the fair value of the acquisition-related contingent consideration and smaller tax benefits realized due to expiring federal and state statutes of limitations. The fiscal 2011 rate reflected the tax consequences of the decrease in the fair value of the acquisition-related contingent consideration and tax benefits realized due to expiring federal and state statutes of limitations.
Earnings from Continuing Operations and Earnings per Share from Continuing Operations
Earnings from continuing operations were $104.4 million ($2.31 per diluted share), a decrease of 21 percent from fiscal 2011 earnings from continuing operations of $131.6 million ($2.87 per diluted share). National media operating profit was lower in all of its lines of business. These declines were partially offset by lower unallocated corporate expenses.
Earnings from continuing operations were $131.6 million ($2.87 per diluted share) in fiscal 2011, up 25 percent from $105.6 million ($2.32 per diluted share) in the prior year. The improvements were primarily the result of revenue growth and higher operating profit in our local media segment and improved profits in our brand licensing and customer relationship marketing operations partially offset by a decline in the operating profit of magazine operations.
The loss from discontinued operations represents the operating results, net of taxes, of ReadyMade magazine. In June 2011, the Company announced the closing of the ReadyMade brand. In connection with this closing, the Company recorded a write-down of various assets, primarily deferred subscription acquisition costs, of ReadyMade magazine of $4.2 million.
The ReadyMade charges are reflected in the costs and expenses line below. The revenues and expenses have, along with associated taxes, been removed from continuing operations and reclassified into a single line item amount on the Consolidated Statements of Earnings titled loss from discontinued operations, net of taxes, for each period presented as follows:
Net Earnings and Earnings per Share
Net earnings were $104.4 million ($2.31 per diluted share), down 18 percent from $127.4 million ($2.78 per diluted share) in fiscal 2011. National media operating profit was lower in all of its lines of business. These declines were partially offset by lower unallocated corporate expenses and by the lack of a loss from discontinued operations in the current fiscal year. Both average basic and diluted shares outstanding decreased due to repurchases of common shares.
Net earnings were $127.4 million ($2.78 per diluted share) in fiscal 2011, up 23 percent from $104.0 million ($2.28 per diluted share) in the prior year. The improvements were primarily the result of revenue growth and higher operating profit in our local media segment and improved profits in our brand licensing and customer relationship marketing operations partially offset by a decline in the operating profit of magazine operations. This growth was partially offset by a larger loss from discontinued operations in fiscal 2011 primarily due to ReadyMade magazine shut down costs recorded in that year. Both average basic and diluted shares outstanding increased slightly.
LIQUIDITY AND CAPITAL RESOURCES
Meredith's primary source of liquidity is cash generated by operating activities. Debt financing is typically used for significant acquisitions. Our core businesses—magazine and television broadcasting—have been strong cash generators. Despite the introduction of many new technologies, we believe these businesses will continue to have strong market appeal for the foreseeable future. As is true in any business, operating results and cash flows are subject to changes in demand for our products and changes in costs. Changes in the level of demand for magazine and television advertising or other products can have a significant effect on cash flows.
Historically, Meredith has been able to absorb normal business downturns without significant increases in debt and management believes the Company will continue to do so. We expect cash on hand, internally generated cash flow, and available credit from financing agreements will provide adequate funds for operating and recurring cash needs (e.g., working capital, capital expenditures, debt repayments, and cash dividends) into the foreseeable future. At June 30, 2012, we had up to $110 million available under our revolving credit facility and up to $35 million available under our asset-backed bank facility (depending on levels of accounts receivable). While there are no guarantees that we will be able to replace current credit agreements when they expire, we expect to be able to do so.
SOURCES AND USES OF CASH
Cash and cash equivalents decreased $1.9 million in fiscal 2012 and $20.8 million in fiscal 2011. They increased $20.7 million in fiscal 2010. Over the three-year period, net cash provided by operating activities was used for acquisitions, debt repayments, stock repurchases, capital investments, and dividends.
The largest single component of operating cash inflows is cash received from advertising customers. Advertising accounted for more than 55 percent of total revenues in each of the past three years. Other sources of operating cash inflows include cash received from magazine circulation sales and other revenue transactions such as customer relationship marketing, brand licensing, and product sales. Operating cash outflows include payments to vendors and employees and payments of interest and income taxes. Our most significant vendor payments are for production and delivery of publications and promotional mailings, broadcasting programming rights, employee benefits (including pension plans), and other services and supplies.
Cash provided by operating activities totaled $181.9 million in fiscal 2012 compared with $214.5 million in fiscal 2011. The decrease is primarily due to lower net earnings. Also contributing to the decline was increasing subscription acquisition cost balances and declining accounts payable balances (excluding the impact of acquisitions), partially offset by increasing unearned subscription revenues (excluding the impact of acquisitions). The decline in cash flows from operations was also partially offset by a reduction in tax payments in fiscal 2012.
Cash provided by operating activities totaled $214.5 million in fiscal 2011 compared with $191.7 million in fiscal 2010, primarily due to higher net earnings in fiscal 2011.
Changes in the Company's cash contributions to qualified defined benefit pension plans can have a significant effect on cash provided by operations. We made no contributions in fiscal 2012 or fiscal 2011. We contributed $10.0 million in fiscal 2010. We do not anticipate a required contribution in fiscal 2013.
Investing cash inflows generally include proceeds from the sale of assets or a business. Investing cash outflows generally include payments for the acquisition of new businesses; investments; and additions to property, plant, and equipment.
Net cash used by investing activities increased to $284.7 million in fiscal 2012 from $70.0 million in the prior year. The increase primarily reflects increased cash used for Current Year Acquisitions and an investment in iris, as well as higher spending for additions to property, plant, and equipment due to a move into new leased facilities in New York.
Net cash used by investing activities increased to $70.0 million in fiscal 2011 from $52.2 million in fiscal 2010. The increase primarily reflected more cash used for investments in businesses due to the acquisitions of Hyperfactory and Real Girls Media Network, as well as higher contingent purchase price payments on prior acquisitions in the current year than in the prior year.
Financing cash inflows generally include borrowings under debt agreements and proceeds from the exercise of common stock options issued under share-based compensation plans. Financing cash outflows generally include the repayment of long-term debt, repurchases of Company stock, and the payment of dividends.
Net cash provided by financing activities totaled $100.9 million in fiscal 2012, compared with net cash used by financing activities of $165.3 million in the prior year. The change in cash used for financing activities is primarily due to net debt of $185.0 million being incurred in the current year primarily to finance the Current Year Acquisitions, compared to a net $105.0 million debt reduction in the prior year. Higher dividend payments due to the increased dividend per share rate and increased purchases of Company stock partially offset the change in net debt.
Net cash used by financing activities totaled $165.3 million in the year ended June 30, 2011, compared with $118.8 million for the year ended June 30, 2010. The increase in cash used for financing activities is primarily due to debt being paid down by a net $105.0 million in fiscal 2011 compared to a net $80.0 million reduction in the prior year and higher purchases of Company common stock in fiscal 2011.
At June 30, 2012, long-term debt outstanding totaled $380.0 million ($275.0 million in fixed-rate unsecured senior notes, $65.0 million under an asset-backed bank facility, and $40.0 million outstanding under a revolving credit facility). None of the senior notes are due in the next 12 months. We expect to repay the senior notes with cash from operations and credit available under existing credit agreements. The fixed-rate senior notes are repayable in amounts of $25.0 million and $50.0 million and are due from July 13, 2013 to March 1, 2018. Interest rates range from 2.62 percent to 7.19 percent with a weighted average interest rate of 4.01 percent.
In connection with the asset-backed bank facility, we entered into a revolving agreement in April 2002. Under this agreement, we currently sell all of our rights, title, and interest in the majority of our accounts receivable related to advertising and miscellaneous revenues to Meredith Funding Corporation, a special-purpose entity established to
purchase accounts receivable from Meredith. At June 30, 2012, $148.2 million of accounts receivable net of reserves were outstanding under the agreement. Meredith Funding Corporation in turn sells receivable interests to a major national bank. In consideration of the sale, Meredith receives cash and a subordinated note that bears interest at the prime rate, 3.25 percent at June 30, 2012, from Meredith Funding Corporation.
The revolving agreement is structured as a true sale under which the creditors of Meredith Funding Corporation will be entitled to be satisfied out of the assets of Meredith Funding Corporation prior to any value being returned to Meredith or its creditors. The accounts of Meredith Funding Corporation are fully consolidated in Meredith's consolidated financial statements. The asset-backed bank facility has a capacity of up to $100 million and will next renew in April 2013. The interest rate on the asset-backed bank facility is variable based on the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) plus a fixed spread. The interest rate was 1.33 percent as of June 30, 2012. We expect to renew the asset-backed bank facility on or before its expiration date under substantially similar terms.
The interest rate on the revolving credit facility is variable based on LIBOR and Meredith's debt to trailing 12 month EBITDA ratio. This facility has capacity for up to $150 million outstanding with an option to request up to another $150 million. At June 30, 2012, $40.0 million was outstanding under the revolving credit facility. The revolving credit facility expires June 16, 2013. We expect to renew the revolving facility on or before its expiration date under substantially similar terms.
We believe our debt agreements are material to discussions of Meredith's liquidity. All of our debt agreements include financial covenants, and failure to comply with any such covenants could result in the debt becoming payable on demand. A summary of the most significant financial covenants and their status at June 30, 2012, is as follows:
The Company was in compliance with these and all other debt covenants at June 30, 2012.
The following table summarizes our principal contractual obligations as of June 30, 2012:
Due to uncertainty with respect to the timing of future cash flows associated with unrecognized tax benefits at June 30, 2012, the Company is unable to make reasonably reliable estimates of the period of cash settlement. Therefore, $46.5 million of unrecognized tax benefits have been excluded from the contractual obligations table above. See Note 8 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for further discussion of income taxes.
Purchase obligations represent legally binding agreements to purchase goods and services that specify all significant terms. Outstanding purchase orders, which represent authorizations to purchase goods and services but are not legally binding, are not included in purchase obligations. We believe current cash balances, cash generated by future operating activities, and cash available under current credit agreements will be sufficient to meet our contractual cash obligations and other operating cash requirements for the foreseeable future. Projections of future cash flows are, however, subject to substantial uncertainty as discussed throughout MD&A and particularly in Item 1A-Risk Factors beginning on page 12. Debt agreements may be renewed or refinanced if we determine it is advantageous to do so. We also have commitments in the form of standby letters of credit totaling $1.2 million that expire within one year.
Share Repurchase Program
We have maintained a program of Company share repurchases for 24 years. In fiscal 2012, we spent $26.9 million to repurchase an aggregate of 976,000 shares of Meredith Corporation common and Class B stock at then current market prices. We spent $24.9 million to repurchase an aggregate of 770,000 shares in fiscal 2011 and $6.3 million to repurchase an aggregate of 188,000 shares in fiscal 2010. We expect to continue repurchasing shares from time to time subject to market conditions. In October 2011, the Board of Directors authorized the repurchase of up to $100.0 million in additional shares of the Company's stock through public and private transactions. As of June 30, 2012, approximately $87.1 million remained available under the current authorization for future repurchases. The status of the repurchase program is reviewed at each quarterly Board of Directors meeting. See Item 5-Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities of this Form 10-K for detailed information on share repurchases during the quarter ended June 30, 2012.
Meredith has paid quarterly dividends continuously since 1947 and we have increased our dividend annually for 19 consecutive years. The last increase occurred in October 2011 when the Board of Directors approved the quarterly dividend of 38.25 cents per share effective with the dividend payable in December 2011. Given the current number of shares outstanding, the increase will result in additional dividend payments of approximately $22.7 million annually. Dividend payments totaled $63.0 million, or $1.4025 per share, in fiscal 2012 compared with $44.2 million, or 97 cents per share, in fiscal 2011, and $41.3 million, or 91 cents per share, in fiscal 2010.
Spending for property, plant, and equipment totaled $35.7 million in fiscal 2012, $29.9 million in fiscal 2011, and $24.7 million in fiscal 2010. Current year spending primarily related to leasehold improvements related to our move into new leased facilities in New York along with assets acquired in the normal course of business. Fiscal 2011 spending primarily related to assets acquired in the normal course of business such as local media technical and news equipment, information technology systems and equipment, and improvements to buildings and office facilities. Fiscal 2010 spending primarily related to the initiative to consolidate back-office television station functions such as traffic, master control, accounting, and research into centralized hubs in Atlanta and Phoenix. The Company has no material commitments for capital expenditures. We expect funds for future capital expenditures to come from operating activities or, if necessary, borrowings under credit agreements.
CRITICAL ACCOUNTING POLICIES
Meredith's consolidated financial statements are prepared in accordance with GAAP. Our significant accounting policies are summarized in Note 1 to the consolidated financial statements. The preparation of our consolidated financial statements requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the amounts reported in the consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes. Some of these estimates and assumptions are inherently difficult to make and subjective in nature. We base our estimates on historical experience, recent trends, our expectations for future performance, and other assumptions as appropriate. We reevaluate our estimates on an ongoing basis; actual results, however, may vary from these estimates.
The following are the accounting policies that management believes are most critical to the preparation of our consolidated financial statements and require management's most difficult, subjective, or complex judgments. In addition, there are other items within the consolidated financial statements that require estimation but are not deemed to be critical accounting policies. Changes in the estimates used in these and other items could have a material impact on the consolidated financial statements.
GOODWILL AND INTANGIBLE ASSETS
The Company has a significant amount of goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets that are reviewed at least annually for impairment. Goodwill and intangible assets totaled $1,319 million, or approximately 65 percent of Meredith's total assets, as of June 30, 2012. See Note 5 to the consolidated financial statements for additional information. The impairment analysis of these assets is considered critical because of their significance to the Company and our national media and local media segments.
Management is required to evaluate goodwill and intangible assets with indefinite lives for impairment on an annual basis or when events occur or circumstances change that would indicate the carrying value exceeds the fair value. The determination of fair value requires us to estimate the future cash flows expected to result from the use of the assets. These estimates include assumptions about future revenues (including projections of overall market growth and our share of market), estimated costs, and appropriate discount rates where applicable. Our assumptions are based on historical data, various internal estimates, and a variety of external sources and are consistent with the
assumptions used in both our short-term financial forecasts and long-term strategic plans. Depending on the assumptions and estimates used, future cash flow projections can vary within a range of outcomes. Changes in key assumptions about the national media and local media businesses and their prospects or changes in market conditions could result in an impairment charge.
Broadcast rights, which consist primarily of rights to broadcast syndicated programs and feature films, are recorded at cost when the programs become available for airing. Amortization of broadcast rights is generally recorded on an accelerated basis over the contract period. Broadcast rights valued at $4.4 million were included in the Consolidated Balance Sheet at June 30, 2012. In addition, we had entered into contracts valued at $13.2 million not included in the Consolidated Balance Sheet at June 30, 2012 because the related programming was not yet available for airing. Amortization of broadcast rights accounted for 6 percent of local media operating expenses in fiscal 2012. Valuation of broadcast rights is considered critical to the local media segment because of the significance of the amortization expense to the segment.
Broadcast rights are valued at the lower of unamortized cost or net realizable value. The determination of net realizable value requires us to estimate future net revenues expected to be earned as a result of airing of the programming. Future revenues can be affected by changes in the level of advertising demand, competition from other television stations or other media, changes in television programming ratings, changes in the planned usage of programming materials, and other factors. Changes in such key assumptions could result in an impairment charge.
PENSION AND POSTRETIREMENT PLANS
Meredith has noncontributory pension plans covering substantially all employees. These plans include qualified (funded) plans as well as nonqualified (unfunded) plans. These plans provide participating employees with retirement benefits in accordance with benefit provision formulas. The nonqualified plans provide retirement benefits only to certain highly compensated employees. Meredith also sponsors defined healthcare and life insurance plans that provide benefits to eligible retirees.
The accounting for pension and postretirement plans is actuarially based and includes assumptions regarding expected returns on plan assets, discount rates, and the rate of increase in healthcare costs. We consider the accounting for pension and postretirement plans critical to Meredith and both of our segments because of the number of significant judgments required. More information on our assumptions and our methodology in arriving at these assumptions can be found in Note 9 to the consolidated financial statements. Changes in key assumptions could materially affect the associated assets, liabilities, and benefit expenses. Depending on the assumptions and estimates used, these balances could vary within a range of outcomes. We monitor trends in the marketplace and rely on guidance from employee benefit specialists to arrive at reasonable estimates. These estimates are reviewed annually and updated as needed. Nevertheless, the estimates are subjective and may vary from actual results.
Meredith will use a long-term rate of return on assets of 8.00 percent in developing fiscal 2013 pension costs, the same as used in fiscal 2012. The fiscal 2012 rate was based on various factors that include but are not limited to the plans' asset allocations, a review of historical capital market performance, historical plan performance, current market factors such as inflation and interest rates, and a forecast of expected future asset returns. The pension plan assets earned 3.7 percent in fiscal 2012 and 23.3 percent in fiscal 2011. If we had decreased our expected long-term rate of return on plan assets by 0.5 percent in fiscal 2012, our pension expense would have increased by $0.6 million.
Meredith will use a discount rate of 3.50 percent in developing the fiscal 2013 pension costs, down from a rate of 4.65 percent used in fiscal 2012. If we had decreased the discount rate by 0.5 percent in fiscal 2012, there would have been no material effect on our combined pension and postretirement expenses.
Assumed rates of increase in healthcare cost levels have a significant effect on postretirement benefit costs. A one-percentage-point increase in the assumed healthcare cost trend rate would have resulted in an increase of $0.9 million in the postretirement benefit obligation at June 30, 2012, and a $0.1 million increase in the aggregate service and interest cost components of 2012 expense.
Revenues from the newsstand sale of magazines are recorded net of our best estimate of expected product returns. Net revenues from newsstand sales totaled 6 percent of fiscal 2012 national media segment revenues. Allowances for returns are subject to considerable variability. Return allowances may exceed 65 percent for magazines sold on the newsstand. Estimation of these allowances for future returns is considered critical to the national media segment and the Company as a whole because of the potential impact on revenues.
Estimates of magazine newsstand returns are based on historical experience and current marketplace conditions. Allowances for returns are adjusted continually on the basis of actual results. Unexpected changes in return levels may result in adjustments to net revenues.
SHARE-BASED COMPENSATION EXPENSE
Meredith has a stock incentive plan that permits us to grant various types of share-based incentives to key employees and directors. The primary types of incentives granted under the plan are stock options, and restricted shares of common stock. Share-based compensation expense totaled $10.5 million in fiscal 2012. As of June 30, 2012, unearned compensation cost was $5.0 million for restricted stock and $2.6 million for stock options. These costs will be recognized over weighted average periods of 1.9 years and 1.7 years, respectively.
Restricted shares are valued at the market value of traded shares on the date of grant. The valuation of stock options requires numerous assumptions. We determine the fair value of each option as of the date of grant using the Black-Scholes option-pricing model. This model requires inputs for the expected volatility of our stock price, expected life of the option, and expected dividend yield, among others. We base our assumptions on historical data, expected market conditions, and other factors. In some instances, a range of assumptions is used to reflect differences in behavior among various groups of employees. In addition, we estimate the number of options and restricted stock expected to eventually vest. This is based primarily on past experience.
We consider the accounting for share-based compensation expense critical to Meredith and both of our segments because of the number of significant judgments required. More information on our assumptions can be found in Note 12 to the consolidated financial statements. Changes in these assumptions could materially affect the share-based compensation expense recognized as well as various liability and equity balances.
Income taxes are recorded for the amount of taxes payable for the current year and include deferred tax assets and liabilities for the effect of temporary differences between the financial and tax basis of recorded assets and liabilities using enacted tax rates. Deferred tax assets are reduced by a valuation allowance if it is more likely than not that some portion or all of the deferred tax assets will not be realized. Income tax expense was 39.6 percent of earnings from continuing operations before income taxes in fiscal 2012. Net deferred tax liabilities totaled $218.1 million, or 18 percent of total liabilities, at June 30, 2012.
We consider accounting for income taxes critical to our operations because management is required to make significant subjective judgments in developing our provision for income taxes, including the determination of deferred tax assets and liabilities, any valuation allowances that may be required against deferred tax assets, and reserves for uncertain tax positions.
The Company operates in numerous taxing jurisdictions and is subject to audit in each of these jurisdictions. These audits can involve complex issues that tend to require an extended period of time to resolve and may eventually result in an increase or decrease to amounts previously paid to the taxing jurisdictions. Any such audits are not expected to have a material effect on the Company's consolidated financial statements.
ACCOUNTING AND REPORTING DEVELOPMENTS
ADOPTED OR PENDING ACCOUNTING PRONOUNCEMENTS
There were no new accounting pronouncements issued or effective during the fiscal year which have had or are expected to have a material impact on the consolidated financial statements. See Note 1 to the consolidated financial statements for further detail on applicable accounting pronouncements that were adopted in fiscal 2012 or will be effective for fiscal 2013.
ITEM 7A. QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK
Meredith is exposed to certain market risks as a result of our use of financial instruments, in particular the potential market value loss arising from adverse changes in interest rates. The Company does not utilize financial instruments for trading purposes and does not hold any derivative financial instruments that could expose the Company to significant market risk. There have been no significant changes in the market risk exposures since June 30, 2011.
We generally manage our risk associated with interest rate movements through the use of a combination of variable and fixed-rate debt. At June 30, 2012, Meredith had $275.0 million outstanding in fixed-rate long-term debt. There are no earnings or liquidity risks associated with the Company's fixed-rate debt. The fair value of the fixed-rate debt (based on discounted cash flows reflecting borrowing rates currently available for debt with similar terms and maturities) varies with fluctuations in interest rates. A 10 percent decrease in interest rates would have changed the fair value of the fixed-rate debt to $282.6 million from $279.9 million at June 30, 2012.
At June 30, 2012, $105.0 million of our debt was variable-rate debt. The Company is subject to earnings and liquidity risks for changes in the interest rate on this debt. A 10 percent increase in interest rates would increase annual interest expense by $0.2 million.
Broadcast Rights Payable
The Company enters into broadcast rights contracts for our television stations. As a rule, these contracts are on a market-by-market basis and subject to terms and conditions of the seller of the broadcast rights. These procured rights generally are sold to the highest bidder in each market, and the process is very competitive. There are no earnings or liquidity risks associated with broadcast rights payable. Fair values are determined using discounted cash flows. At June 30, 2012, a 10 percent decrease in interest rates would have resulted in an immaterial change in the fair value of the available broadcast rights payable and the unavailable broadcast rights commitments.
ITEM 8. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA
Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm
The Board of Directors and Shareholders
We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of Meredith Corporation and subsidiaries (the Company) as of June 30, 2012 and 2011, and the related consolidated statements of earnings, shareholders' equity, and cash flows for each of the years in the three-year period ended June 30, 2012. In connection with our audits of the consolidated financial statements, we also have audited the related financial statement schedule (as listed in Part IV, Item 15 (a) 2 herein). We also have audited the Company's internal control over financial reporting as of June 30, 2012, based on criteria established in Internal Control - Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO). The Company's management is responsible for these consolidated financial statements and financial statement schedule, for maintaining effective internal control over financial reporting, and for their assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting, included in Management's Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on these consolidated financial statements and financial statement schedule and an opinion on the Company's internal control over financial reporting based on our audits.
We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States). Those standards require that we plan and perform the audits to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement and whether effective internal control over financial reporting was maintained in all material respects. Our audits of the consolidated financial statements included examining, on a test basis, evidence supporting the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements, assessing the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, and evaluating the overall financial statement presentation. Our audit of internal control over financial reporting included obtaining an understanding of internal control over financial reporting, assessing the risk that a material weakness exists, and testing and evaluating the design and operating effectiveness of internal control based on the assessed risk. Our audits also included performing such other procedures as we considered necessary in the circumstances. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinions.
A company's internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. A company's internal control over financial reporting includes those policies and procedures that (1) pertain to the maintenance of records that, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of the assets of the company; (2) provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and that receipts and expenditures of the company are being made only in accordance with authorizations of management and directors of the company; and (3) provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use, or disposition of the company's assets that could have a material effect on the financial statements.
Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements. Also, projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate.
In our opinion, the consolidated financial statements referred to above present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of Meredith Corporation and subsidiaries as of June 30, 2012 and 2011, and the results of their operations and their cash flows for each of the years in the three-year period ended June 30, 2012, in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles. Also in our opinion, the related financial statement schedule, when considered in relation to the basic consolidated financial statements taken as a whole, presents fairly, in all material respects, the information set forth therein. Also in our opinion, the Company maintained, in all material
respects, effective internal control over financial reporting as of June 30, 2012, based on criteria established in Internal Control - Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission.
/s/ KPMG LLP
Des Moines, Iowa
August 20, 2012
REPORT OF MANAGEMENT
To the Shareholders of Meredith Corporation:
Meredith management is responsible for the preparation, integrity, and objectivity of the financial information included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. We take this responsibility very seriously as we recognize the importance of having well-informed, confident investors. The consolidated financial statements have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America and include amounts based on our informed judgments and estimates. We have adopted appropriate accounting policies and are fully committed to ensuring that those policies are applied properly and consistently. In addition, we strive to report our consolidated financial results in a manner that is relevant, complete, and understandable. We welcome any suggestions from those who use our reports.
To meet our responsibility for financial reporting, our internal control systems and accounting procedures are designed to provide reasonable assurance as to the reliability of financial records. In addition, our internal audit staff monitors and reports on compliance with Company policies, procedures, and internal control systems.
The consolidated financial statements and the effectiveness of the Company's internal control over financial reporting have been audited by an independent registered public accounting firm in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States). The independent registered public accounting firm was given unrestricted access to all financial records and related information, including all Board of Directors and Board committee minutes.
The Audit Committee of the Board of Directors is responsible for reviewing and monitoring the Company's accounting policies, internal controls, and financial reporting practices. The Audit Committee is also directly responsible for the appointment, compensation, and oversight of the Company's independent registered public accounting firm. The Audit Committee consists of four independent directors who meet with the independent registered public accounting firm, management, and internal auditors to review accounting, auditing, and financial reporting matters. To ensure complete independence, the independent registered public accounting firm has direct access to the Audit Committee without the presence of management representatives.
At Meredith, we have always placed a high priority on good corporate governance and will continue to do so in the future.
/s/ Joseph Ceryanec
Vice President-Chief Financial Officer
FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA
Meredith Corporation and Subsidiaries
Consolidated Balance Sheets
Meredith Corporation and Subsidiaries
Consolidated Balance Sheets (continued)
Meredith Corporation and Subsidiaries
Consolidated Statements of Earnings
Meredith Corporation and Subsidiaries
Consolidated Statements of Shareholders' Equity