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Why Shares of Martha Stewart Living OmniMedia, Inc. Jumped

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Martha Stewart Living OmniMedia  (NYSE: MSO  ) were looking distinguished today, gaining as much as 15% after a solid fourth-quarter earnings report.

So what: The media company said profits jumped to $0.12 from $0.02 a share, ahead of the consensus, also at $0.02. Revenues, however, declined 16% to $47.4 million, though that still beat expectations at $47.4 million. The company saw sales drop 20% in its publishing division to $28.4 million, and broadcasting revenue was nearly erased after it exited that industry last year. Merchandising revenue, however, improved 12% to $18.2 million, giving the company signs of life. 

Now what: Recently instated CEO Dan Dienst noted important steps the company made at the end of 2013 to align its cost structure, among them laying off 100 employees and slashing its print title count from four to two, and those steps seem to be paying off. For the full year, its net loss narrowed from $0.83 a share to just $0.03 a share. The company did not provide guidance, and I'd still be skeptical that it can complete a full turnaround despite the positive steps it's taken. Analysts expect essentially flat revenue growth for 2014, and a loss of $0.06 a share.

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Jeremy Bowman

Fool since 2011. I write about consumer goods, the big picture, and whatever else piques my interest. Follow me on Twitter to see my latest articles, and for commentary on hot topics in retail and the broad market.

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8/31/2015 3:43 PM
MSO $6.05 Up +0.03 +0.50%
Martha Stewart Liv… CAPS Rating: *