Stock takes a tumble after Lionsgate's Q4 fails to please Street

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Despite posting a higher fourth-quarter profit after Friday's closing bell, Lionsgate stock slid Monday after missing Wall Street forecasts.

Stock in Vancouver-based Lionsgate fell 93 cents, or 9%, to $9.72 during morning trading Monday on the New York Stock Exchange after the company reported a fourth-quarter profit of 22 cents per share, well short of Street forecasts of 37 cents per share.

Despite the setback, Lionsgate executives remained bullish about prospects for fiscal 2009.

Looking ahead, Lionsgate projected overall revenue of $1.5 billion for fiscal 2009, free cash flow in excess of $100 million, domestic boxoffice to exceed $500 million, library revenue to surpass $250 million and digital revenue to double to $70 million at the end of the current year before reaching a projected $100 million in 2010.

Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer told analysts that recent investments in movie and TV production will pay out in revenue growth and cash generation in fiscal 2009.

"In the past year, we've invested nearly $100 million in new businesses, much of it back-loaded toward the end of the year. We've seen only the tip of the iceberg so far in terms of returns from those investments," he said during a Monday conference call.

On the theatrical front, Lionsgate expects to release about 18 titles in 2009. (partialdiff)
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