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Martha Stewart Living posts smaller loss

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. Tuesday reported a narrower quarterly loss as advertising at its flagship magazine rebounded with a media revival for the company's founder.
/ Source: Reuters

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. Tuesday reported a narrower quarterly loss as advertising at its flagship magazine rebounded with a media revival for the company's founder.

Omnimedia reported a first-quarter loss of $6.8 million, or 13 cents per share. A year earlier, when lifestyle guru Martha Stewart was serving a prison sentence for lying to investigators about a personal stock sale, the company posted a loss of $19.2 million, or 38 cents a share.

In the 2006 first quarter, revenue rose 60 percent to $61.8 million.

Stewart was released from prison in March 2005.

Analysts on average had forecast a loss per share of 15 cents on revenue of $60.8 million, according to Reuters Estimates.

Omnimedia reported a 70 percent rise in advertising pages at its Martha Stewart Living magazine and a 40 percent increase in ad pages for its Everyday Food title. Advertising revenue per page increased at an even higher rate, the company said.

"We currently expect the strong growth in ad pages and revenue to continue into the second quarter," the company said, forecasting 40 percent to 45 percent ad page growth for Martha Stewart Living.

The company expects second-quarter revenue of $60 million to $65 million and an operating loss of $9.5 million to $10.5 million.

Stewart has signed a series of new branding and merchandising deals since her release, including an agreement with homebuilder KB Home and department store chain Macy's.