Investigation of Meredith Corporation
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Meredith Corporation (MDP) Accused of Misleading Shareholders
According to the class action complaint against the company for alleged violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, in January 2018, Meredith acquired Time Inc. for $3.2 billion, touting that the merger of the two companies “meaningfully enhance[d] [Meredith’s] financial strength and flexibility.” Despite auspicious financial reports throughout the relevant period, Meredith failed to disclose that its financial reporting was deficient in controls to establish the value of assets and liabilities acquired from Time. Therefore, the acquisition of Time was not as profitable as expected and required additional investment spending to improve Time’s business. As a result, Meredith’s earnings were adversely affected and, on September 5, 2019, the Company shocked investors with fiscal 2019 fourth quarter and full year financial results well below expectations. On this news, Meredith’s stock fell $10.14 to $33.68, over 23% on that day, and more than 50% from its closing price when Meredith announced it had acquired Time. The stock has yet to recover.