MSO Bottom Line Suffers Tough Losses

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia recorded a fourth-quarter loss of $7.3 million, reversing a year-before profit of $2.6 million, as magazine ad pages dwindled and television revenues plunged in the wake of the design impresario's financial troubles and subsequent jailing.

But her highly publicized problems haven't had much of an impact on sales of Martha Stewart branded products, and merchandising revenues actually rose by 5.5 percent, to $23.7 million from $22.5 million last year, helped by part by an increase in revenue form Kmart resulting from minimum royalty guarantees and revenue tied to the dissolution of the Martha Stewart Signature flooring program.

The biggest hit came out of the publishing division, where revenues tumbled 21.1 percent, to $26.1 million from $33 million, hurt by fewer advertising pages and lower ad rates. Television revenues plunged 81.9 percent, to $1.1 million from $5.9 million as Stewart's daily syndicated show went on hiatus.

For all of 2004, the company recorded a severely widening loss of 59.6 million, up from a $2.8 million deficit the preceding year. Sales for the year tumbled by 23.8 percent, to $187.4 million from $245.8 million.

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc.

Qtr. 12/31 (x000) 2004 2003 % change
a. Fourth quarter results include a $6 million charge for the amortization of non-cash stock compensation expense, compared with $1.1 million a year ago; a loss from discontinued operations of $109,000, compared with $204,000 the prior year; and an income-tax benefit of $1.7 million versus a year-before tax provision of $37,000.
b. 12-month results include a $9.5 million charge for the amortization of non-cash stock compensation expense, compared with $1.5 million last year; a $526,000 loss from discontinued operations, compared with a prior-year loss of $848,000; and an income-tax provision of $868,000 versus a year-before tax benefit of $3 million.
Sales $60,212 $70,862 -21.1
Oper. Income (EBIT) (9,485) 2,264
Net income (7,329)a 2,372a
Per share (diluted) (0.15) 0.05
Average gross margin 51.1% 52.3%
SG&A expenses 54.0% 42.5%
12 months
Sales 187,438 245,848 -23.8
Oper. Income (EBIT) (60,004) (6,405)
Net income (59,599)b (2,771)b
Per share (diluted) (1.19) (0.04)
Average gross margin 38.0% 44.6%
SG&A expenses 61.4% 42.6%

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