Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia 4Q profit drops

Martha Stewart Living 4Q profit drops as publishing, broadcasting units continue to struggle

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc.'s fourth-quarter net income slid 74 percent as the company continues to struggle with weak results at its publishing and broadcasting divisions.

The company, founded by lifestyle and home guru Martha Stewart, has been trying to turn its business around. In November it announced that it would downsize its magazines and cut publishing jobs to focus on online video and other digital content. But it was dealt a blow in December when the company said that CEO Lisa Gersh would be stepping down after less than a year on the job. It is now setting out to find a replacement.

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia earned $1.1 million, or 2 cents per share, for the three months ended Dec. 31. That's down from $4.2 million, or 7 cents per share, in the prior-year period.

Revenue declined 9 percent to $56.4 million from $61.7 million due mostly to lower revenue at its publishing and broadcasting units. One bright spot was merchandising, which reported higher revenue during the critical holiday shopping period.

The New York company said Tuesday that its publishing results were hurt by lower print and digital ad revenues as well as lower circulation revenue. The broadcasting division's performance was hampered by the conclusion of "The Martha Stewart Show" in mid-2012.

For the year, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia lost $56.1 million, or 83 cents per share. That compares with a loss of $15.5 million, or 28 cents per share, in the previous year.

Taking out restructuring and other one-time charges, the company lost 10 cents per share compared with a loss of 19 cents per share in the prior year. Annual revenue fell 11 percent to $197.6 million from $221.4 million.

Its shares finished at $3.01 on Monday. They have traded in a 52-week range of $2.28 to $4.75.

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