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Lionsgate Posts Q3 Loss Due to Starz Deal, Revenues Gain 12%

Lionsgate has reported a loss of $31 million for its third quarter, which ended Dec. 31, due to costs stemming from buying premium cabler Starz. Its adjusted earnings were $34 million, or 21 cents a share.

The company, which announced earnings Wednesday after the market closed, reported revenues rose 12% to $752 million driven by gains in TV and from Starz. The earnings were in line with Wall Street estimates but revenues lagged expectations and Class A shares declined 34 cents to $27.70 while Class B shares were off 38 cents to $25.98 in the first hour of afterhours trading.

It’s the first earnings report for the studio since its Dec. 8 acquisition of Starz for $4.4 billion. Movie operations have been buoyed by its musical comedy-drama “La La Land” earning a record-tying 14 Academy Award nominations on Jan. 24 and taking in $270 million in but Lionsgate said the results won’t impact earnings until the current quarter.

“We’re pleased to report increased profits across our film, television and media networks divisions as well as another strong revenue performance from our Television Group,” said Lionsgate Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer.

“We’ve just completed one of our busiest and most productive quarters ever as we continue to scale our global content platform and integrate Starz into our operations. Our strong film and television offerings are now complemented by our Starz premium network that is becoming a “must-have” value proposition for the digital age.”

The quarter’s results include $52 million in restructuring costs — including $22 million of severance costs and $27 million of transaction-related costs. The quarter also included a $28 million loss on extinguishment of debt in connection with the Starz deal and a $20 million gain on Lionsgate’s investment in Starz stock.

Motion picture segment revenues were down 13% to $440 million despite strong box office performances from “Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween” and “Hacksaw Ridge” due to performance of “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2” in the prior-year quarter. Segment profit improved 55% due to reductions in direct operating expenses and distribution and marketing expenses.

TV production segment revenues increased 39% to $229 million, driven primarily by an increase in television deliveries including episodes of “Orange is the New Black,” the new series “Dear White People” and the three-hour musical event “Dirty Dancing.” Segment profit increased 117% to $26 million.

During the subsequent call with analysts, Feltheimer disclosed that the studio has signed a new multi-year home entertainment distribution deal with Europa Corp., including Luc Besson’s upcoming sci-fi action film “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.”


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