Martha Stewart Living Fourth-Quarter Broadcasting Results Decline

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The company's earnings rose slightly driven by a one-time gain from the sale of a stake in WeddingWire.

NEW YORK - Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia on Thursday reported mixed fourth-quarter results, including an expected decline in its broadcasting business.

Earnings for the company founded by domestic doyenne Martha Stewart came in at $4.2 million,  slightly higher than the $4.1 million recorded in the same period a year earlier, but the latest quarter benefited from a $5 million gain related to the sale of a stake in WeddingWire. The company said the latest period included a $1.3 million restructuring charge related to severance costs and staffing adjustments.

On an operating basis, MSLO reported a loss of $38,000, compared with a year-ago profit of $3.4 million.

Revenue of $61.7 million was down from $72.6 million in the year-ago quarter as broadcasting revenue fell again amid lower programming and advertising revenue. This dragged down broadcasting revenue from $16.4 million to $9.8 million and saw the broadcasting unit swing to an operating loss of $1.1 million from a profit of $800,000 last year.

Print advertising revenue also declined, but merchandising revenue rose, the firm said.

"Our fourth quarter results were in line with our expectations and underscore the importance of our work to return Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia to growth and profitability," said president and COO Lisa Gersh. "We have assembled an energized team that is focused on delivering on our strategic priorities, and we anticipate beginning to show the benefits of our actions in the second half of 2012, with a strong emphasis on improved execution in our print advertising sales. We also anticipate revenue and margins in our merchandising business to show continued improvement this year, and see the longer-term outlook for this business as bullish," particularly thanks to a new alliance with J.C. Penney and an extension of the firm's relationship with The Home Depot through 2016.


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