Monday, June 09, 2003

Martha Squawks: Christopher Byron, the author of the book upon which the Cybil Sheppard tv movie, "Martha, Inc." was based, was interviewed on the Motley Fool radio show this weekend. Among other things, he was asked about the future of Martha's company going forward. His point was well taken: when you are selling non-essential, non-unique commodities (i.e. sheets, towels, pans), the premium comes from the aura surrounding the manufacturer, or in this case, the endorser. If the endorser is sliding downward, ever downward, then there is no hope, in the long run, for the company to keep coming up with good numbers. Interestingly, Martha Stewart Living - Omni Media or "MSO" is up about 60% over the past 8 months. Byron attributed this to the fact that the value has slowly crept up as the lack of indictments continued. In any event, if your figurehead is an indicted shyster, then who wants her 800-count sheets?

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