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MGM Earnings More Than Double for First Quarter

'Hobbit,' 'Skyfall' drive gain in profits

Thanks to “Skyfall” and ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” MGM saw first-quarter earnings more than double to $57.4 million from $22.9 million in the 2012 quarter.

Revenue nearly tripled to $481.7 million from $179.5 million.

In a report released Thursday, the privately held studio cited strong box office for “Skyfall” and “The Hobbit” plus the home entertainment release of “Skyfall” and James Bond library promotions.

The two films generated theatrical revenue of $139.5 million while home entertainment revenue amounted $201.7 million.

“In addition, we generated higher revenue from television content due to the domestic delivery of ‘Vikings,’ and higher net revenue from co-produced films as these films progressed through their distribution cycle,”  the company said in the report.

MGM said the results did not recognize theatrical revenue for two titles it co-financed with Paramount — “Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters,” released in January with worldwide grosses of $224.8 million, or “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” released in March with $357.8 million worldwide.

“Skyfall,” a Sony co-production, has generated $1.1 billion in worldwide box office. The first “Hobbit” movie, a co-production with Warner Bros., has grossed $1.01 billion.

Chairman Gary Barber told investors in a conference calls that the results “exceeded our expectations.”

MGM disclosed in a July filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it was considering an IPO under new legislation effective in April that allows companies with under $1 billion in annual revenue to keep the process confidential until 21 days before a roadshow.

Barber said Thursday an IPO was still under consideration as part of evaluating all options in light of the best interest of the company but added that he could not comment further.

On Oct. 3, MGM announced Barber would become the sole chairman and CEO of MGM as Roger Birnbaum became a producer. The longtime partners had been co-chairmen since taking over the Lion in late 2010.

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