Lionsgate has posted revenues and operating income above Wall Street projections for its second fiscal quarter that ended on Sept. 30.
Revenues were $983.5 million, 8% above the consensus estimate, and adjusted operating income came in at $145 million, 21% above Wall Street forecasts. Starz domestic OTT subscribers grew a record 1.2 million in the quarter to 5.6 million, its best sequential growth quarter ever. Starz ended the quarter with 27 million total global subscribers, up 1.8 million from the prior year quarter.
The company also cited strong Motion Picture Group contributions from hit theatrical releases “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark,” “Angel Has Fallen” and “Rambo: Last Blood,” the strong home entertainment performance of “John Wick: Chapter 3,” and increases in television episode deliveries.
“We’re pleased to report a strong quarter that showed solid performance in all of our key financial metrics,” said Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer. “Even as our industry is undergoing the most disruptive secular change in its history, all of our core businesses have staked out strong, sustainable and unique positions within the ecosystem and are performing very well.”
The results were announced after the stock market closed. Shares had risen 18 cents to $8.32 during Thursday’s session, then jumped to more than $9 in after-hours trading.
Shares have lost about half their value during the past year and took a hit in late August after a report said Comcast had informed the company it planned to drop its premium-cable Starz network, home to “Power” and “Outlander.”
Lionsgate bought Starz for $4.4 billion in 2016. Lionsgate executives have been exploring how they can better unlock value that they perceive isn’t currently being recognized by Wall Street. At the annual meeting on Sept. 11, Feltheimer offered a bullish outlook and pledged to seek an improved Wall Street profile for the company.
Feltheimer said during Thursday’s conference call with Wall Street analysts that he was concerned that the stock was not being fairly valued. He also asserted that there is “tremendous synergy” between Starz and Lionsgate in international operations, thanks to Lionsgate’s large library.
Motion Picture Group Chairman Joe Drake sounded a bullish note during the call by citing the studio’s upcoming slate, which includes “Midway,” “Bombshell,” and “Knives Out. “There are lots of reasons to be optimistic going forward,” he added.
Televison production, which includes “Orange Is the New Black,” “Grace and Frankie” and “Dear White People” saw revenues jump 80% to $274 million and profit gain 34% to $12.6 million.