Earnings: MSLO Swings To Profit In Q2; Revs Up 5 Percent; Online Grows 28 Percent

This story was written by David Kaplan.
In its first earnings report following the departure of Susan Lyne as CEO, Martha Stewart Omnimedia (NYSE: MSO) said q2 operating income came in at $1.7 million. The numbers represent the complete of a turnaround from last year, when MSLO posted a Q2 operating loss of $7.8 million. Revenues were also positive, rising 5 percent to $77.1 million from Q207's $73.4 million. The company attributed the two sets of numbers to merchandising deals and ad growth across its various business segments in the face of a struggling economy.

--Online: MSLO says that online revenues gained 28 percent in the quarter, growing to $3.2 million from last year's $2.5 million. Flowers revenue was previously recorded in the internet segment and is now recorded on the merchandising side. As a result, this quarter's numbers exclude $2.7 million revenue from the Flowers business. The company says it was able to make up for the removal of the Flowers revenue in Q2 thanks to ad gains of 31 percent that was more than offset by the transition to the Martha Stewart for 1-800-Flowers.com program. Rounding out the positive figures for its online business, traffic showed solid gains, with pageviews up 23 percent over the prior year's quarter.

-- Outlook: Conceding that the economy still has a lot of pitfalls going into the second half of the year, MSLO expects revenues to range from $65- to $67 million, with the company back to an operating loss in the range of $500,000 to break-even. The company essentially said that things would be worse were it not for revenue contributions from the Emeril acquisition.

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By David Kaplan