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Lionsgate Earnings Surge Past Wall Street Forecasts

Stock jumps in afterhours trading

Citing strong contributions from all its businesses, Lionsgate has reported earnings of $13.6 million, or 10 cents a share, for its first quarter ended June 30, compared to a loss of $44.2 million, or 33 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter.

The earnings  were above Wall Street estimates, which were in the 8 cents a share range. Revenues for the quarter jumped  21% to $569.7 million from $471.8 million last year, coming in well above forecasts of $524 million.

The earnings, reported after the market closed, caused Lionsgate stock to surge 2.1% in after-hours trading, gaining $.72 to $34.95. The stock had risen 20 cents (.024%) to $34.23 during the regular session.

The issue has doubled in value this year and is trading at four times its price in January 2012, when it acquired Summit Entertainment for $412.5 million.

Revenues for the quarter grew 21% to $569.7 million from $471.8 million last year. Forecasts had been for $524 million.

“We’re pleased with our first quarter results, with particularly strong contributions from our diversified television slate, packaged and digital media and our robust international performance,” said Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer. “The fact that our quarter compared favorably to a first quarter last year that included most of the domestic release of the first ‘Hunger Games’  film illustrates the diversity of our business. The appetite for content is growing, domestically and internationally, across multiple platforms and, as a pure content company, we are well positioned to capitalize on this demand.”

The most recent quarter saw surprisingly strong box office from magician thriller “Now You See Me,” which has grossed $233 million worldwide.

The year-ago quarter included all but the first nine days of Jennifer Lawrence’s “The Hunger Games,” which outperformed expectations for a blockbuster gross of $691 million worldwide. The second film in the franchise — “The Hunger Games: Chasing Fire” — will open Nov. 22.

Adjusted EBITDA of $60.8 million for the quarter was more than triple the $17.1 million in the prior year quarter.

Motion picture segment revenue rose 8% to $438.6 million due to a 16% gain in home entertainment and a 63% jump in international motion pictures. Digital media revenue surged 21% to $63.2 million.

TV production revenues more than doubled to $131.1 million due to strong gains in licensing of domestic TV series and international sales. Deliveries included “Anger Management ,” the sixth season of “Mad Men ,” and the debut seasons of “Nashville ” and Netflix’s “Orange Is The New Black.”

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