Martha Stewart posts first-quarter loss of $2.6 million, revenue falls 48 percent



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NEW YORK — Shares of Martha Stewart Living fell sharply Tuesday after reporting a nearly 50 percent drop in its first-quarter revenue as it handed over control of its magazine business to publishing company Meredith.

Martha Stewart Living wants to focus on creating content and products such as furniture, crafting tools and pet products. As a result, the New York company signed a deal in October to allow Meredith Corp. to take over ad sales, circulation and production for its magazines. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

During the first quarter, publishing revenue at Martha Stewart Living fell 70 percent from a year ago to $5.7 million. Revenue for its merchandising business fell 16 percent to $11 million, and revenue fell 46 percent to $367,000 in its broadcasting unit.

Martha Stewart Living's products are sold in several retailers, including The Home Depot, Macy's and PetSmart. The company signed a new deal in April to make stationery and storage products for office supplies retailer Staples.

For the first quarter, the company reported a loss of $2.6 million, or 5 cents per share, practically unchanged from a year ago. Revenue fell 48 percent to $17.1 million in the period.

Shares of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. fell 37 cents, or 6.3 percent, to $5.48 in afternoon trading Tuesday.

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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on MSO at http://www.zacks.com/ap/MSO

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Keywords: Martha Stewart Living, Earnings Report

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