EmptyDow, Viacom records
Shares of many media and entertainment companies rose Wednesday as the Dow Jones Industrial Average passed the 13,000 milestone for the first time and set new records. Class A shares of Viacom Inc. hit a 52-week high of $42.98 before closing at $42.75, down 0.1%.
Tribune Co. said Wednesday that it has started buying back up to $4.3 billion of its own stock in an initial step toward going private. The media firm is being acquired by real estate tycoon Sam Zell in an $8.2 billion deal. The company will repurchase up to 126 million common shares for $34 each in a tender offer funded via bank debt and a $250 million investment from Zell. "With Sam Zell's initial investment completed, and the tender offer launched, the first stage of our transaction that will result in Tribune going private is under way," chairman, president and CEO Dennis FitzSimons said. The tender offer is set to expire May 24.
Meredith Q3 up
Magazine publisher and TV broadcaster Meredith Corp. reported a 12% increase in its fiscal third-quarter Wednesday, citing advertising and online revenue growth, but its revenue and guidance disappointed Wall Street. The company's profit rose from $40.6 million a year ago to $45.3 million. Adjusted earnings, which account for a tax settlement and special items, came in at $43.6 million. Quarterly revenue rose 4% year-over-year to $409.8 million, but came in well below Wall Street expectations. Meredith's broadcasting unit revenue rose 5% to $79.4 million, with online revenue doubling. Early in its next fiscal year, Meredith said it will launch a parenthood portal under the Parents.com brand and a new multi-platform broadband channel called ParentsTV. Meredith shares fell 2.2% on Wednesday to $58.52.