Another Disastrous Quarter for Martha Stewart

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Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (NYSE: MSO) posted another loss on falling revenue, a further sign that the company is not a viable standalone firm.

Revenue for the second calendar quarter of the year fell to $47.9 million from $54.9 million in the same quarter a year ago. The operating loss for the most recent period was $2.9 million compared to $2.5 million last year.

Merchandising remains the firm’s only strong operation. Revenue in the unit rose from $12.9 million last year to $14.5 million. EBITDA rose to $10.3 million from $8.5 million. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia’s publishing operation is hardly worth keeping. Revenue fell from $34.1 million to $28.8 million. The EBITDA loss for publishing was $4.6 million, compared to $1.6 million in the same quarter a year ago.

Regarding the publishing numbers, the firm reported “The decline was anticipated in part due to the timing of changes in the advertising sales staff.”

So, for the second half, numbers will clearly be much better. Not likely.

Douglas A. McIntyre