Picless Pixar profits dip

Rev fell 50% to $18.7 mil in the latest quarter

Pixar said Wednesday that its first-quarter profit was cut nearly in half by the lack of a theatrical release in the period.

Emeryville, Calif.-based animation studio, controlled by Apple Computer chief Steve Jobs, reported $8.2 million in net income for the latest quarter, mostly on revenue from the pay TV distribution of toon feature “Monsters, Inc.” That compared with net income of $15.6 million in the same period last year, when “Monsters” was still throwing off international box office revenue.

Overall, revenue fell 50% to $18.7 million in the latest quarter.

“We are very pleased with our performance in the first quarter, and we’re on the edge of our seats for the release of ‘Finding Nemo’ in 23 days,” Jobs said.

Pixar’s fifth movie collaboration with distribution partner Disney, “Nemo” unspools in wide release on May 30. Disney and Pixar execs have said they remain hopeful that ongoing talks to extend the relationship will prove fruitful.

Pixar announced its quarterly results after the close of market trading. Shares closed up 78¢ at $59.71 but declined significantly in initial after-hours activity.

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