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‘Hunger Games,’ ‘Twilight’ Lift Lionsgate Earnings Past Wall Street Estimates

Stock surges in afterhours trading

Citing strong contributions from its young-adult franchises, Lionsgate has reported earnings of $163 million, or $1.10 per share, for its fourth quarter ended March 31, compared to a loss of $22.7 million or $0.17 per share, in the year-ago quarter.

Adjusted net income was $89.6 Million or 66 cents a share — well above estimates from Wall Street in the 47 cents range.

The earnings, reported after the market closed, caused Lionsgate stock to surge 4.53% in after-hours trading, gaining $1.27 to $29.30. The stock had declined 41 cents (1.4%) to $28.03 during the regular session; the issue has gained 71% this year and is trading at more than triple its price in January 2012, when it acquired Summit Entertainment for $412.5 million.

Revenues for the quarter grew 22% to $785.7 million from $645.2 million last year.

“We completed a stellar fiscal 2013 with an outstanding fourth quarter that reflected strong contributions from our young adult franchises as well as the rest of our theatrical slate and our home entertainment and international businesses,” said CEO Jon Feltheimer.

During the  most recent quarter, Lionsgate released the DVD of the final ‘Twilight” film, “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2” and saw ongoing revenues from “The Hunger Games” DVD.

“We are performing ahead of plan for all of our metrics, and we’re pleased with the financial strength of our diverse portfolio of businesses and our strong and growing momentum building Lionsgate into a next generation global content leader,” Feltheimer added.

Revenue for the fiscal year gained 71% to $2.71 billion compared to $1.59 billion in the prior year. Lionsgate said the gain reflected strong performances throughout its theatrical, home entertainment, international and Lionsgate U.K. operations driven by “The Hunger Games” and the “Twilight” franchise.

For the fiscal year, Lionsgate reported net income of  $232.1 million, or $1.73 per share, and adjusted net income of $190.1 million, or $1.41 per share, compared to a $39.1 million loss and an adjusted net loss of $13.1 million.

Free cash flow totaled $280.5 million for fiscal 2013 compared to negative free cash flow of $86.9 million in the prior year. Adjusted EBITDA totaled $329.7 million compared to adjusted EBITDA of $71.6 million in the prior year.

Revenue in the TV production declined 4% in fiscal 2013 was $379 million due to a decrease in home entertainment revenue for TV program with the prior year including licensing of four seasons of “Mad Men” to Netflix.

Lionsgate noted in its 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it has been able to generate  homevideo and VOD performances well above the industry average.

“In fiscal 2013, we continued to achieve the highest box office-to-DVD conversion rate in the industry, maintaining a rate of approximately 25% above that of the industry average,” the company said. “Box office-to-DVD conversion rate is calculated as the ratio of the total first cycle DVD release revenues for a theatrical release compared to the total box-office revenues from such theatrical release. We also achieved a box office-to-VOD conversion rate of approximately 35% above that of the industry average in the 2012 calendar year.”

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