Lionsgate has reported earnings of $10.9 million, or 7 cents a share, for its fourth fiscal quarter that ended on March 31 — significantly above Wall Street’s estimate of a loss of a penny per share, thanks to strong TV performance.
Lionsgate released the results after the market closed Wednesday and shares of Lionsgate jumped 13% in afterhours trading, gaining $2.76 to $22.56 as of 4:45 p.m. EDT.
Revenue soared 23% to $791.2 million, topping analysts’ forecasts by $52 million thanks to record TV business. The studio also released five movies in the quarter, compared with three in the year-ago period. Adjusted EBITDA of $45.8 million for the quarter also beats consensus by $17.6 million.
The TV results were strong enough to overcome soft performances by “The Divergent Series: Allegiant” and “Gods of Egypt,” which had driven earnings projections lower. Earnings were down 41% from the year-ago quarter.
Wednesday’s reaction contrasts sharply with Wall Street’s response in February, when shares were hammered in the wake of disappointing quarterly earnings, and the company indicating that performance was tracking under previous forecasts.
For the fiscal year, revenue edged down 2% $2.35 billion while net income attributable to Lionsgate shareholders plunged 72% to $50.2 million, or 34 cents a share. Adjusted EBITDA slid 58% to $162.3 million due to lower film performance offsetting gains in television revenue and margins.
Motion Picture segment revenue fell 7.7% to $1.68 billion, while television production segment revenue rose 15% to $669.9 million. Key drivers on the TV side were “Orange Is the New Black” and reality-TV producer Pilgrim Studios, acquired in November.
Lionsgate’s filmed entertainment backlog hit $1.5 billion on March 31, increasing from $1.3 billion as of Dec. 31.
“Our television business had a record year with all categories contributing great results, and we expect its strong growth to continue this year,” said Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer.
“Although last year’s film slate didn’t match the performance of previous years, this year’s slate is bigger, more balanced and is expected to generate greater profitability. We also expect to continue creating long-term value by deepening our portfolio of brands and franchises and solidifying our status as a preferred partner to owners of intellectual property, third-party distributors and digital platforms worldwide.”
Lionsgate’s key upcoming titles are “Now You See Me 2” on June 10, Woody Allen’s “Cafe Society” on July 15, “Hell or High Water” on Aug. 12, “Deepwater Horizon” on Sept. 30, “Hacksaw Ridge” on Nov. 4, “La La Land” on Dec. 2, “Patriots Day” on Dec. 21 and “Power Rangers” on March 24.
Lionsgate’s current TV series include “Nashville,” “Deadbeat,” “The Royals” and “Casual.”