Profit, Ads Down at Martha Stewart Living

From Bloomberg News

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc., the company whose founder has been indicted on obstruction-of-justice charges, posted a third-quarter loss Thursday and cited a drop in advertising sales.

The net loss was $3.84 million, or 8 cents a share, compared with net income of $2.77 million, or 6 cents, a year earlier, the New York-based company said. Revenue slumped 28% to $51.2 million from $70.9 million.

The company said it expected fourth-quarter profit to be as high as 7 cents a share. Analysts had forecast an average of 3 cents for the current period’s earnings, according to Thomson First Call.

Shares of Martha Stewart Living rose 41 cents to $10.40 in New York Stock Exchange trading.


Martha Stewart Living had been expected to report a third-quarter loss of 14 cents a share on sales of $49.9 million, according to Thomson First Call.

Stewart, whose trial begins in January, resigned as chief executive in June to distance the company from the publicity created by her indictment. She remains chief creative officer.

Stewart’s indictment stems from her sale in December 2001 of $228,000 of ImClone Systems Inc. stock.

Revenue at the company’s publishing division, its largest unit by revenue, declined 37% to $29.1 million compared with $46.5 million a year earlier.

Ad pages in Martha Stewart Living magazine have dropped 31% this year through September, according to Publishers Information Bureau.