Financial Reports: Martha Stewart Living, Guitar Center

Martha Stewart’s Direct Commerce Sales Decline

New York-based Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia reported lower revenue and income for the quarter ended Sept. 30. Total third-quarter revenue fell 38%, to $51.2 million from $70.9 million last year. Operating loss was $6.2 million, compared with $4.5 million last year.

Revenue within the Internet/direct commerce division, which includes the print catalog, fell 18%, to $6.6 million from $8.0 million last year. Circulation reducitons contributed to the decline.

Musician’s Friend Enjoys Strong 3Q Its Musician’s Friend catalog continues to strike a chord with Westlake Village, CA-based retailer Guitar Center (Nasdaq: GTRC). Net sales for the direct response division increased 26%, to $59.0 million from $46.9 million last year. Gross margin for the division was 32%, compared with 29% in the third quarter of 2002. The increase is primarily due to a shift in its merchandise mix toward higher-margin products, improved inventory management. and lower return rates.

Guitar Center reported total net sales for the quarter ended Sept. 30 of $300.1 million, up nearly 17% from $257.4 million for the third quarter of last year. Net income for the quarter increased 33%, to $5.8 million from $4.4 million last year.

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