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Gas Prices and the Bottom Line

This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," April 25, 2006, that was edited for clarity.

DAVID ASMAN, GUEST HOST: Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSO) posts a smaller-than-expected loss, revenue soaring 60 percent, as more advertisers stream right in there — shares of Martha Stewart climbing nearly 7 percent.

So, a great quarter for Martha Stewart Living, but what is the company doing to ensure these pumped-up gas prices don't cut into the bottom line?

Joining me now, Susan Lyne. She's CEO of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.

Thank you for coming in.

SUSAN LYNE, PRESIDENT & CEO, MARTHA STEWART LIVING OMNIMEDIA: Thank you, David.

ASMAN: Congratulations on the great earnings. We will talk about that in a second.

But is there any sign of these gas prices cutting in on your business?

LYNE: We haven't seen it.

In fact, our sales are extremely strong. But, if this means people are going to stay home more, then, that's only good for our company. We have lots of great ideas for people at home, lots of ways for them to entertain inexpensively.

ASMAN: So, you think people sitting around at home all the time will look around and say: "Gee, I need this. I need this. I need that"?

LYNE: Sure. Yes. That has always happened.

ASMAN: Now, but are your folks, are your shoppers the rich folks who don't have to worry about the price of gas, or are they just about everybody else?

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LYNE: Our shoppers go across the board. I'm a shopper, you're probably a shopper for Martha Stewart products. And so are all those Kmart shoppers.

ASMAN: What are folks buying that is leading to this incredible increase in revenue on your part? Necessities? Frivolous stuff? Stuff that they don't need?

LYNE: No, this is largely driven by a massive increase in our advertising revenues.

Our publishing segment did extremely well for the quarter. Martha Stewart Living — ad pages were up 70 percent. Our pages at Everyday Food were up 40 percent. Even our newest magazine was up 50 percent in ad revenue.

ASMAN: Even at a time when a lot of magazines are having serious ad page problems?

LYNE: Absolutely. Absolutely. We are taking more market share, yes.

ASMAN: So thus, a new magazine. Another magazine.

LYNE: Another magazine.

ASMAN: Tell us about it.

LYNE: This is a magazine for 25 to 45-year-old women. This is a demographic we have a lot to offer to.

A lot of our staff is in that age group. And they really believed there was a great magazine to be done out of our company. So, we launch this week. And everybody is very excited about it.

ASMAN: Now, you have got to be honest with me on this one. When Martha Stewart was in jail, did you ever think that you would see such a comeback of the stock?

LYNE: I did. And I will tell you why: because this company was built so beautifully, the assets here, the media libraries, the...

ASMAN: But based around one woman who is in jail.

(LAUGHTER)

ASMAN: It doesn't seem to have affected it. But you have got to be surprised a little bit. Face it.

LYNE: I'm thrilled. We have real momentum. And I think the turnaround has occurred faster than we expected.

But, at the same time, we knew the company had everything it needed to become just a behemoth.

ASMAN: Well, it's an incredible increase in revenue. You must be very happy. And you are starting a new magazine, when everybody is thinking about closing theirs.

(LAUGHTER)

Susan Lyne, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, great to have you here.

LYNE: Thank you very much.

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