Losing interest in Martha?

images3.jpegAs Martha Stewart continues to work on reinventing herself — revamping her website, launching a new magazine, inking a deal to sell food at Costco — one would think that this might attract more interest on Wall Street.

But judging by the conference call transcript from earlier this week, that’s not exactly the case. Indeed, only two analysts participated in the first quarter earnings call. That’s a 50% drop from the four who participated in the 2006 first quarter call and a 33% decline from the last quarterly call.

Perhaps that’s because first quarter earnings were disappointing, in part due to a $5.7 million charge from stock options exercised by producer Mark Burnett. As the Q filed yesterday notes, during the first quarter, Burnett “exercised this portion of the warrant on a cashless basis, pursuant to which he acquired 154,112 shares and forfeited 262,555 shares based on the closing price of our Class A Common Stock of $19.98 the day prior to exercise.” Come to think of it, judging by the continued decline in the stock, Burnett’s looking like more than a savvy producer. He’s looking like an astute stock picker too.