Martha Cleans Up

Domestic doyenne Martha Stewart cleaned up on Wall Street Tuesday as shares of her namesake media company more than doubled in their market debut. Shares of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. jumped almost 100% to close at 35-7/16, after an $18-a-share initial public offering price. “It never occurred to me that I would have a New York Stock Exchange company,” newly minted billionaire Martha Stewart told Reuters. Her empire includes her flagship magazine, Martha Stewart Living; a cable TV program by the same name; a Martha By Mail shopping service; a line of housewares at K-mart; 25 how-to books; a syndicated newspaper column; a radio show; and a website.

  • Predictions by some financial news commentators that Martha would hang chintz and plant flowers around the Stock Exchange did not turn out to be true, although she did serve homemade snacks to traders on the floor.
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