Just following the official announcement of its Emeril buy, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (NYSE: MSO) reported Q4 revenues of $118.5 million, up 22 percent year-on-year from $97.03 million. Net income more than doubled to $33.3 million ($.63 per share) from $16.2 million ($.31 per share). The biggest contributor to growth was the company’s merchandising revenue, which was up 41.5 percent to $49.8 million. Internet revenue grew 34.3 percent to $7.2 million, or 6 percent of revenue. Some highlights:
— For the first quarter of this year, digital ad revenue is trending up 35 percent.
— Traffic to MSLO sites grew rapidly in the quarter, with December numbers 50 percent higher than the year-ago period.
— Publishing revenue was up 15 percent to $49.4 million, with strong ad growth at Martha Stewart Living.
— Earnings and revenue both came in slightly below guidance. The company’s first quarter outlook of $66.0 to $67.0 million was also a little light, as the company said an uncertain economy made its ability to forecast for the coming year difficult.
Separately, the company announced a 40 percent stake in Rockville, MD-based WeddingWire, a content and commerce platform similar to TheKnot.com (NSDQ: KNOT). Along with the investment, the goal is to connect WeddingWire’s planning functionality into MSLO’s wedding-related content. A deal like this was tipped by CEO Susan Lyne at least year’s UBS Global Media Conference, when she suggested that wedding planning tools would be a logical area for the company to invest in. Terms of the investment were not disclosed.