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King World net income at record high; revs dip 15%

King World Prods. yesterday reported record net income and earnings per share for its first fiscal quarter ended Nov. 30.

The TV distributor reported net income of $ 38.5 million (98 cents per share) , a 5% increase from $ 36.6 million (94 cents) for the same period in its last fiscal year.

Net revenues, however, dropped 15% to $ 169.7 million for the quarter, vs. $ 199 million last year.

In a release, the company said the revenue dip was primarily due to reduced cash license fees from “Wheel of Fortune,” and “Jeopardy!,” reflecting lower license fees per show and a much smaller number of shows produced in the period. Also affecting revenues was cancellation of “Candid Camera.”

The company said these decreases were partially offset by increased cash license fees from “Inside Edition,” due to higher fees per show and a greater number of shows produced in the period.

“The numbers were generally better than expected,” said Oppenheimer analyst Jessica Reif. She noted that the company’s cash position is growing by $ 100 million annually, and that its balance sheet is “rock-solid.”

At the end of the first quarter, KW’s cash position stood at $ 383 million, a 50% increase from November 1991.

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