Gemstar cuts losses; TV Guide gloomy

Rev increase only due to payments from settlements

Interactive program guide and publishing company Gemstar-TV Guide substantially cut its net losses in the first quarter while its TV Guide continued to fare poorly and revenue figures were largely unchanged.

Company reported revenue of $195.2 million, up over 9% from a year ago, but the increase was due entirely to $19.4 million worth of non-recurring payments from Samsung and Pioneer, with which it reached legal settlements related to patent disputes.

Reduced costs, particularly in the TV Guide publishing division, helped the company drive its net loss down nearly 74% to $13.4 million.

TV Guide remained a sore spot for Gemstar, as revenues for the publishing division fell nearly 10% from a year ago to $98.4 million. Company said both decreased subscriptions and advertising were to blame.

Revenue from advertising and wagering on its interactive channels was up 18.4%, however, bringing in revenue of $42.1 million.

Excluding the legal settlements, licensing revenue for its interactive program guide stayed largely flat at $54.7 million.

“Unfortunately, the first quarter also included negative results related to challenges in our magazine business,” said CEO Jeff Shell. “While we have resolved many of our legacy issues, we still have much to do in terms of improving our products, operations and financial performance.”

Company also lowered its operating income guidance for the year to between $20 million and $50 million. It had previously predicted it would earn between $44 million and $69 million.

Gemstar shares were up 3% before earnings were released Wednesday at $5.71 but were down over 17% in after-hours trading.