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News > Companies

Martha Stewart editor sells shares
Editor of magazine nets $70,333 days after home decor expert's conviction, company says.
March 11, 2004: 1:32 PM EST

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Margaret Roach, editor-in-chief of Martha Stewart Living magazine, sold almost 14 percent of her Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia shares days after the company founder was found guilty in her criminal trial, but still made a huge profit, the company said Thursday in an SEC filing.

A company spokeswoman said there was no connection between the sale, which she said was part of a pre-arranged plan, and the conviction.

"Margaret's stock transaction is pursuant to a Rule 10, B5-1 trading plan which is based on a specified date, not price," the spokeswoman said. "It was put in place in November 2003."

Roach sold 8,098 shares of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSO: Research, Estimates) stock Tuesday, two business days after Martha Stewart was convicted of lying to federal authorities about her sale of ImClone stock in late 2001, the company said in the filing.

Martha Stewart
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Incorporated

The editor initially sold 3,700 of her shares at Tuesday's intra-day low of $9.22 and then sold the rest at $9.34, the company said. It said proceeds of Roach's sale were $75,191; after exercising stock options that cost her $4,858, the net gain was $70,333.

Shares of Martha Stewart Living fell 8 percent Monday, following a more than 22 percent plunge Friday when Stewart was found guilty of all counts in the government's investigation of her ImClone stock sale.

The stock briefly jumped to a 21-month high of $17 before the guilty verdict on optimism that the home decor expert might be acquitted, but it erased all gains and finished the Friday session at $10.86.

Roach still holds 51,711 shares of Martha Stewart Living stock, according to the regulatory filing. The stock has since rebounded and was trading above $10 Thursday.

Stewart was found guilty of one count of conspiracy, two counts of making false statements and one count of obstruction of agency proceedings in the investigation of a suspicious stock sale. She is scheduled to be sentenced June 17.  Top of page

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