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Carmike net off 15% in 4th qtr.

Carmike Cinemas Tuesday reported its fourth-quarter net income fell about 15 % to $ 1.81 million — or 22 cents per share — compared with that period last year.

The number was at the low end of previous estimates by stock analysts, who Tuesday blamed poorly attended holiday releases — which also have sapped earnings of rival exhibs — for the erosion.

A Carmike spokesman was not available for comment. Carmike stock slipped 50 cents to $ 17.50 a share.

Fourth-quarter revenues, however, gained 30% to $ 65.40 million and operating income gained 7% to $ 6.88 million, buoyed by last year’s increase of 486 screens. Quarterly interest expense also rose 19% to $ 3.87 million from the year-ago quarter. Prexy Michael Patrick said in a statement that Carmike, which runs 414 theaters with 1,732 screens, is proceeding with its plan to build another 150 screens this year.

For the full year, Carmike gave an award-winning performance in 1993, reeling in annual net income of $ 11.86 million, or $ 1.50 per share, before one-time gains — a 94% leap over 1992. Analysts had expected the No. 2 U.S. exhib to earn from $ 1.45 to $ 1.55 per share.

Total annual revenues rose 41% to $ 241.80 million, while operating income added 57% to $ 34.06 million for the year ended Dec. 31.

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