Living Omnimedia drops income, but revs rise to $49.8 mil

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia posted lower net income but a nice jump in revenue for its first quarter as a publicly traded company.

The group’s income dropped to $3.9 million from $9 million, mainly because of planned investments in its Internet/direct commerce unit and higher corporate overhead expenses to support growth in all the company’s core businesses.

Revenues rose 17% to $49.8 million. Net losses widened to $3 million on the Internet side, but commerce revenues soared 203% to $7 million, reflecting an expanded and upgraded Web site.

Martha Stewart’s largest segment, publishing, saw revenues rise 4.4% to $31.7 million. TV revenues were up 14% to $6.4 million; merchandising revenue gained 10% to $4.8 million.

Martha Stewart raised $149 million from an initial public offering of 8.3 million shares on Oct. 19. The stock, originally sold at $18, is now trading at $30 after jumping nearly 12% Thursday on the earnings news.

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