UPDATE 3-Martha Stewart, Meredith post quarterly losses

* Martha Stewart Q2 EPS -$0.02 beats analyst view -$0.06

* Martha Stewart shares down 3 percent

* Meredith Q4 EPS net loss $3.64 on writedown

* Meredith Q4 EPS profit ex-items $0.55 vs view $0.54

* Meredith shares shares down 11 percent (Adds comments from conference call, Meredith Corp results)

By Robert MacMillan

NEW YORK, July 29 (Reuters) - Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc MSO.N and Meredith Corp MDP.N posted quarterly losses on Wednesday as ad sales fell and the companies recorded writedowns and other charges.

The publishers of family-oriented lifestyle and home magazines aimed at women beat analyst expectations because of cost cuts, just as many publishers and broadcasters have done during the second quarter.

Both companies also said that advertising revenue declines likely will continue, a problem affecting most U.S. publishers.

Shares of both companies fell in morning trading.

Martha Stewart, named for its founder, television show host and home decoration, food and lifestyle expert Martha Stewart, reported a second-quarter net loss of $6.4 million, or 12 cents a share, compared with a profit of $328,000, or a penny a share, a year earlier.

Excluding a 10-cent charge for an equity investment, the company’s loss was 2 cents a share, beating the average analyst forecast of a 6-cent loss, according to Reuters Estimates.

Revenue fell 26 percent to $57 million.

Publishing revenue fell 28 percent on a decline in ad pages at Martha Stewart Living and its other titles. Merchandising revenue dropped 44 percent as the company winds down its relationship with Sears Holdings Corp's SHLD.O Kmart.

The company said that advertising will remain tough through the third quarter, but executives on a conference call with analysts said they plan to name a new merchandising partner soon. They also said Martha Stewart has extended a contract with Sirius XM Radio Inc SIRI.O, where Stewart has a show.


Meredith Corp, which publishes Family Circle and Better Homes and Gardens, said the recession will hurt ad sales in its 2010 fiscal year, which began July 1, even as ad performance at its magazines improved in the second half of fiscal 2009.

Meredith, which also owns local TV stations, reported a net loss was $163.7 million, or $3.64 a share, in the fiscal fourth quarter ended June 30, compared with a profit of $19.2 million, or 41 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding charges, profit was 55 cents a share from continuing operations, beating the average analyst forecast of 54 cents, according to Reuters Estimates.

The charges included a $185 million after-tax non-cash writedown for its Federal Communications Commission broadcast licenses and goodwill, and a $3.4 million charge for layoffs.

Meredith paid off $100 million in debt on June 30, bringing its balance to $380 million, down 22 percent from a year ago.

Revenue fell 8 percent to $346 million. Ad revenue in the company’s publishing division fell 9.5 percent. In the broadcast division, ad revenue fell more than 55 percent in the fourth quarter and was down 45 percent in fiscal 2009.

Other local television broadcasters and publishers, from News Corp NWSA.O to Gannett Co Inc GCI.N, have been experiencing falling ad revenue, most recently as the economic downturn has eroded ad budgets and consumer spending.

Meredith forecast fiscal first-quarter earnings of 30 cents to 35 cents per share, and fiscal 2010 earnings of $1.60 to $2.00 per share.

Martha Stewart shares fell 10 cents, or 3 percent, to $3.25 in late morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange. Meredith shares fell $3.31, or 11 percent, to $26.82, also on the NYSE. (Reporting by Robert MacMillan, editing by Gerald E. McCormick, Maureen Bavdek, Tim Dobbyn)