'Mad Men,' TV Guide acquisition bump earnings

Lionsgate has swung into the black for its second quarter ended Sept. 30, thanks to hikes from TV shows like “Mad Men” and “Weeds,” its TV Guide acquisition and lower film production costs.

The minimajor reported earnings of $31.7 million, or 26 cents a share, compared with a loss of $51.1.8 million, or 44 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. Revenues rose 3% to $393.7 million with $27.7 million coming from the TV Guide operations, comprising the TV Guide channel and TVGuide.com.

The results, announced Monday after the market closed, came in well above analyst estimates and shares jumped 59 cents to $6 in afterhours trading.

Lionsgate had been under pressure to cut costs earlier this year from billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who had hinted at a proxy battle during the spring and summer that never materialized. The company also posted a strong earnings report in August with profits of above analysts’ expectations at $36.3 million on a 30% hike in revenues to $387.7 million.

Co-chairman and CEO Jon Feltheimer issued an upbeat outlook. “We are on track to meet our financial targets for the year, and we believe that the current performance of our businesses, coupled with growing returns we anticipate from our new investments and the ultimate profitability we expect to achieve from next year’s film slate and beyond, positions us for strong financial results in the future,” he said.

Overall motion picture revenue slid 11% to $277.1 million. Theatrical revenue was off 11% to $30.3 million with only two releases — “Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself” and “Gamer” — compared to four releases in the prior year’s second quarter. Theatrical marketing costs declined 66% to $37.6 million

Homevid revenue from the motion picture segment plunged 25% to $123.4 million due to stronger results for year-ago titles such as “The Forbidden Kingdom,” “Tyler Perry’s Meet The Browns,” “The Bank Job” and “Rambo.” Television income from in motion pictures rose 10% to $68.2 million; international revenues were off 4% to $27.5 million; and Mandate Pictures’ revenue rose 21% to $25.7 million.

TV production revenue jumped 30% to $88.9 million with gains from “Mad Men,” “Weeds,” “Crash,” “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne,” “Meet The Browns” and “The Wendy Williams Show.” Lionsgate also reported an 80% increase in international TV sales and a 7% increase in revenue from home entertainment releases of TV production.

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