Lionsgate has reported earnings of $1.3 million, or 1 cent a share, for its first fiscal quarter ending on June 30 and a 35% jump in revenues to $553.6 million — both above Wall Street estimates.
Lionsgate released the results after the market closed Thursday. The stock rose in afterhours trading by 96 cents, a 5% gain, to $20 a share as of 4:40 p.m. EDT.
The announcement comes five weeks after Lionsgate announced a $4.4 billion deal to acquire premium cabler Starz, which is expected to close by the end of the year. Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer indicated in the earnings announcement that the deal remains on track and will benefit both companies.
“In addition to a very solid performance across all of our businesses, the most significant development in the quarter was our agreement to acquire Starz,” said Feltheimer. “Upon closing, it will be the largest and most transformative transaction in our history. The combination will accelerate the growth and diversification of both companies, deepening our portfolio of content, expanding our access to distribution, streamlining our pathways to the consumer and unlocking enormous opportunities for future growth.”
Profits were down sharply from the $40.6 million, or 28 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter.
The gain in revenue was driven by strong gains in television production revenue as well as well as increases in all categories of the motion pictures segment. TV revenues were led by strong growth in domestic television series licensing and inclusion of $27.3 million in revenue from Pilgrim Media Group, which more than offset declines from international television sales and home entertainment revenue from television programming.
Lionsgate delivered 64 episodes and 49 hours of domestic TV series during the quarter, led by “Greenleaf,” “Monica the Medium,” “Casual,” “Feed the Beast,” “Graves,” “Guilt” and “Nashville” as well as the game and talk shows “Family Feud,” “The Wendy Williams Show” and “Celebrity Name Game” and the reality series “The Ultimate Fighter” and “Street Outlaws.”
It did not include “Orange Is the New Black” in its listing of deliveries. The Netflix comedy-drama launched its fourth season on June 17. “Orange” was renewed earlier this year for three more seasons.
Lionsgate’s only major movie releases during the quarter were “Now You See Me 2,” which took in $65 million domestically and $238 million internationally, and “Criminal,” which grossed $14.7 million domestically.
Adjusted EBITDA slid 42% to $40.7 million due in part to higher marketing and distribution costs for a theatrical slate that included the two wide movie releases compared to no wide releases in the year-ago period.
Overall motion picture segment revenue jumped 32% to $362.5 million as theatrical revenue more than doubled to $47.2 million and TV revenues from the motion picture segment increased 10% to $53.3 million. Lionsgate’s home entertainment revenue from motion picture and TV production gained 16% to $150.3 million due to a higher number of releases.
Lionsgate’s major upcoming releases include “Blair Witch,” “Deepwater Horizon,” Emma Stone-Ryan Gosling’s “La La Land,” Mel Gibson’s “Hacksaw Ridge,” Mark Wahlberg’s “Patriot’s Day” and the first film in the “Power Rangers” franchise. Feltheimer said in May that there could be as many as seven “Power Rangers” pictures.
The company’s filmed entertainment backlog — for revenue contracted but not yet recorded — passed a record $1.5 billion at the end of the quarter.