updated 3/5/2004 7:24:07 PM ET 2004-03-06T00:24:07

The jury's guilty verdict deprived Martha Stewart of not only her credibility but of approximately $85 million. When she woke up this morning Stewart was worth about $420 million. When she goes to sleep tonight--assuming she can sleep--her net worth will be around $335 million. And her fortunes aren't likely to improve upon the markets' opening next week.

Shares in her namesake firm Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia closed down 23% at $10.86 after Stewart was convicted of obstructing justice and lying about her sale of 4,000 ImClone shares.

The verdict is clearly a shock to Wall Street, which had bid Martha Stewart Living shares up by as much as 22% before trading was halted in the late afternoon. That indicates that traders expected the jury to go easy on the domestic diva.

Alas, things may get worse for the company that briefly made Stewart a billionaire. While it's not clear just how badly the company that bears her name will be hurt as a result of the bad publicity, shares of Kmart, which sells Martha Stewart-branded sheets, towels and paint, also traded down on the news, closing at $32.51. Clearly, investors expect the verdict to put a dent in those sales.

© 2012


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