New Line has strong half

Indie producer/distributor New Line Cinema — the current apple of Ted Turner’s eye — posted strong second-quarter and six-month operating results Monday.

Net income in the quarter ended June 30, 1993, soared 41% to $ 2,121,000, or 12 cents per share, from $ 1,509,000 (11 cents) during the same period last year. The company noted that the per-share results reflect an increase in the weighted average number of shares outstanding for the quarter to 17,236,585, from 14,328,041 in 1992, principally as a result of anequity offering.

Revenues for the quarter were $ 88,566,000 compared with $ 58,860,000 during the second quarter of 1992.

Six-month revenues were $ 176,484,000 compared with $ 101,256,000 during the first six months of last year. Net income was $ 5,714,000 (35 cents), compared with $ 3,631,000 (25 cents) during the same period last year (the weighted average number of shares outstanding for the 1993 period was 16,280,464, compared to 14,395,625 last year).

New Line said its earnings benefited from theatrical revenues generated in the second quarter by “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Back in Time” and from the strong theatrical box office, through June 30, of “Menace II Society” and “Who’s the Man?”

Also recorded in the second quarter were ancillary revenues in the homevideo, foreign and television markets, including a portion of the initial homevideo release of “Turtles III.”

In a release, Michael Lynne, president and Chief operating officer of New Line, said the company expects more growth as it continues to evaluate opportunities and markets for its products. As an example, Lynne noted the recently signed agreement with Encore Media Corp. for pay-TV rights to New Line titles beginning Jan. 1, 1994, which he said assures New Line of “substantial value for our product from the pay-TV market for the next four years.”

Robert Shaye, chairman and CEO of New Line, credited the company’s film slate for its current strong performance while touting the company’s upcoming titles for the second half of the year. Those films include “Surf Ninjas,” an action adventure comedy starring Rob Schneider and Leslie Nielsen; “Even Cowgirls Get the Blues,” directed by Gus Van Sant and starring Uma Thurman, Keanu Reeves and Roseanne Arnold; “Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday”; and “Short Cuts,” Robert Altman’s first production since “The Player.”

While the company confirmed that it is in negotiations with Turner Broadcasting System “relating to the possibility of a business combination,” executives would not comment further about the talks.

The takeover speculation, coupled with the strong earnings performance, pushed New Line’s stock up 7/8 to a new 52-week high of $ 17 1/8 a share.

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