Martha Stewart 2nd Qtr. Net Income Meets Expectations

NEW YORK — Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. reported a 13% drop in second-quarter net income and cautioned that results for the full year will miss estimates.

Martha Stewart Living said Wednesday net income totaled $5.2 million, or 11 cents a diluted share, compared with $6 million, or 12 cents a share, in the year-earlier period.

Results matched Wall Street expectations.

Revenue edged up 1% to $70 million from $69.2 million.
“We met financial expectations for the quarter in a difficult economic environment,” Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Martha Stewart said in a written statement.

Revenue from the company’s main publishing businesses fell 2.1% to $42.2 million. Sales in its Internet and direct-commerce units slid 10% to $11.8 million, hurt by lower advertising revenue and lower catalog circulation.
The advertising drop also hurt television revenue, which slipped 1.4% to $6.9 million. The decline in advertising was partially offset by higher international licensing fees.

“We finished the quarter with a strong balance sheet with cash of $123 million and no debt,” Chief Financial Officer James Follo said in the company’s statement.

Average monthly unique visitors to increased 48% to 1.24 million, and registered users increased to two million as of June 30, up 42% from the year-earlier second quarter.

Martha Stewart Living said it is comfortable with Wall Street’s expectations of third-quarter earnings of 11 cents a share, but warned that full-year results will miss estimates.

While the company projects double-digit earnings-per-share growth for the year, it expects earnings of 49 cents to 51 cents a share, below the mean estimate of 53 cents a share by analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial/First Call.

The company expects full-year revenue growth in the mid- to high-single digits, based on the assumption that the advertising market has stabilized at current levels.

In the year-earlier third quarter, the company earned $3.82 million, or eight cents a diluted share, on revenue of $61.9 million. It posted 2000 earnings of $21.3 million, or 43 cents a diluted share, on revenue of $285.8 million.

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