Martha Stewart Disappoints

A wider-than-expected loss sends the stock lower.
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Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia


posted a slimmer loss in the first quarter, but the results disappointed Wall Street.

For its first quarter ended March 31, the New York media company lost $19 million, or 37 cents a share, from continuing operations. A year ago Martha Stewart lost $19.3 million, or 39 cents a share, on the same basis. Revenue fell 13% from a year ago to $38.7 million.

Analysts had expected a loss of 29 cents a share on revenue of nearly $38 million. Martha Stewart shares fell 4% early Tuesday.

"2005 has started off as we expected with the Company seeing momentum both from the strength of our brand and Martha's return," said CEO Susan Lyne. "Importantly, Martha's return has energized the entire company, and customers have enthusiastically welcomed her home."

Lyne said Martha Stewart Living was "pleased by positive circulation trends and an increase in advertising pages in recent issues of our flagship Martha Stewart Living magazine, which we expect to achieve advertising page growth in excess of 30% in the second quarter."

Early Tuesday, the stock slipped 84 cents to $19.50.