Financial Reports: Gaiam, Golfsmith, Martha Stewart, and More

Direct Sales Rescue Gaiam Top Line

Increased direct sales led to a slight increase in first-quarter revenue for Broomfield, CO-based manufacturer/marketer Gaiam (Nasdaq: GAIA). For the three months ended march 31, total sales were $23.8 million, up from $23.0 million for the first quarter of last year. Gaiam lost $329,000 for the quarter, compared with a net loss of $353,000 during the same period of 2003.

Sales among the company’s catalogs of healthy-living products, which include the Real Goods, Harmony, and Living Arts titles, were strong, with an internal growth rate of 13% for the first quarter of 2004.

“While the business segment [sales to other retailers] still posted a modest decline of 3%, sales to our top 25 accounts grew more than 7% in the first quarter of 2004 compared to 2003,” president Lynn Powers said in a statement.

Strong 1Q for Golfsmith
Austin, TX-based multichannel marketer Golfsmith International Holdings reported a 44% rise in first-quarter net revenue, $65.8 million for the three months ended April 3. The revenue gains were due to the cataloger/retailer’s expansion program and customer retention programs. Same-store sales rose 24%. Golfsmith also narrowed its first-quarter net loss significantly, bringing it down to $200,000 from $1.2 million last year.

Excelligence Learning Shaves 1Q Loss
A 14% rise in first-quarter net sales increase at Monterrey, CA-based Excelligence Learning Corp. (Nasdaq: LRNS) enabled the educational products manufacturer/marketer to reduce its net loss 18%. For the first quarter of 2004, Excelligence lost $943,000 on sales of $19.8 million. For the first quarter of last year, it had lost $1.1 million on sales of $17.4 million. The company includes the Discount School Supply and Early Childhoold Manufacturers’ Direct catalogs.

First-quarter net revenue for Excelligence’s Early Childhood segment rose 17%, to $18.2 million. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) totaled $240,000, compared to an EBITDA loss of $271,000 last year.

Net revenue for the Elementary School segment was $1.7 million for the quarter, down 13% from the first quarter of last year. The Elementary School segment’s EBITDA loss was $1.5 million, compared to a $1.3 million EBITDA loss a year ago.

More Bad News for Martha
Following Martha Stewart’s March 5 conviction for obstructing justice and lying to federal investigators, the financials at her multimedia empire have taken a turn for the worse. For the first quarter of 2004, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (NYSE: MSO) recorded a net loss of $20.3 million, compared with a loss of $4.5 million for the first quarter of last year. Quarterly revenue fell 23%, to $44.5 million from $58 million last year.

Revenue in the Internet/Direct Commerce segment was $5.6 million, down from $7.0 million last year, despite increased sales from the Marthasflowers online floral business. The company had cut circulation of Martha Stewart the Catalog for Living book. But the reduced circulation enabled the division to significantly cut its operating loss, to $2.7 million from $8.3 million in the first quarter of 2003.

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