MSLO Shares Continue to Fall

Sep 23, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Shares in Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia continued falling Friday, a day after they took a hit amid weaker-than-expected ratings for the premiere of the Martha Stewart version of NBC’s “The Apprentice.”

By midday Friday, shares in MSLO fell another 4 percent to just over $26 a share, after sinking more than 6 percent Thursday as word of the ratings performance circulated on Wall Street. After soaring over the summer, the company’s shares have tumbled by about 20 percent this month.

“The Apprentice: Martha Stewart” scored a 2.5 rating in the 18 to 49 demo, off 24 percent from a year ago, when drama series “Hawaii” was in the time slot. “Hawaii” was later canceled.

Despite Wall Street’s apparent reaction to the show’s ratings performance, the company itself is not exposed financially to the show as it is to the syndicated program. What’s more, MSLO CEO Susan Lyne said Thursday that the company’s flagship magazine is beginning to show signs of advertising life, with ad pages expected to surge 48 percent in the third quarter.