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Why Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. Shares Jumped

By Jeremy Bowman – Jan 2, 2014 at 10:42PM

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Is this meaningful? Or just another movement?

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 (MSO.DL) were looking fashionable today, climbing as much as 12%, and finishing up 9% after the company settled its dispute with Macy's (M 1.33%) this morning.

So what: Terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but the media company said they were not material to its financial results. The dispute had started when Macy's sued MSLO and J.C. Penney in 2012 after those two companies formed a partnership to open Martha Stewart home shops within Penney's department stores, which infringed upon what Macy's claimed to be exclusive rights to the sell branded Martha Stewart merchandise. MSLO management said the resolution gives it the opportunity to "return our focus to what we do best -- bringing beautifully designed, high quality, affordable products to consumers nationwide."

Now what: The best part of the conclusion to the legal dispute seems to be that the effects were not material to Martha Stewart. Still, the company would seem to have bigger problems to deal with, as it's not currently profitable, and has seen sales fall in each of the last two years as the Martha Stewart brand continues to lose its star power. With the inexorable rise of digital media, the company's future looks even less certain. I'd tread carefully with this one.

Fool contributor Jeremy Bowman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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