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Orion 3rd-qtr. income tops $ 303 mil

Orion Pictures Inc.’s third-quarter numbers prove that emerging from bankruptcy does wonders for a balance sheet.

For the fiscal third quarter of 1993, ended Nov. 30, Orion posted a whopping $ 303.4 million ($ 52.06 a share) in net income, compared to a $ 29.2 million ($ 182.48) net loss for the same period last year.

Revenues were off 44% to $ 53.7 million for the quarter.

The company left bankruptcy court in November and, as a result, turned in $ 312.6 million in a one-time extraordinary non-cash gain as trade creditors, talent and bondholders forgave Orion’s debt.

Orion filed Chapter 11 in December 1991.

Without the extraordinary gain, however, Orion would have posted a $ 9.2 million loss. Also beneficial was the lack of expenses for either film production or lawyers. In the comparable quarter, Orion reported nearly a $ 5 million loss in preparation for its bankruptcy filing.

But in the most recent quarter, the company did post a gross profit –revenues minus costs–of $ 14.3 million.

According to a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, most the gains came from sell-through of “Dances With Wolves,” primarily through a marketing deal with McDonald’s.

To a lesser extent, “The Silence of the Lambs” in domestic and foreign homevideo and pay-cable made up the rest.

On the revenue side, $ 26 million came from homevideo and direct distribution. Other ancillary markets, including foreign homevideo, pay-TV and broadcast, kicked in another $ 22.5 million. The smallest slice was $ 4.5 million from theatrical distribution.

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