Geffen exits D'Works Ani board


David Geffen has stepped down from the board of directors of DreamWorks Animation, CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg said Tuesday while announcing the company's strong quarterly earnings.

Katzenberg declined to say Tuesday whether the company will replace Geffen. With his departure effective Tuesday, there are 11 DWA directors.

Geffen co-founded DreamWorks Studios along with Katzenberg and Steven Spielberg 14 years ago and has been a DWA director since its inception.

"David will remain the guardian angel of DreamWorks Animation," Katzenberg said during a conference call with Wall Street analysts.

Meanwhile, DWA posted net income of $37.4 million in the third quarter, down from $47 million a year ago on the strength of "Shrek the Third." Revenue fell 6% to $151.5 million.

The results topped analysts' expectations. DWA shares rose 7% during Tuesday's powerful rally and were unchanged after hours.

"Kung Fu Panda" got the credit for DWA's outperformance. The film has grossed more than $630 million worldwide, and its DVD release is set for Nov. 9.

"Panda" was responsible for $63.3 million of DWA's third-quarter revenue. "Shrek the Third" contributed $32.5 million mostly via international pay TV, and the film reached 20.5 million DVDs shipped worldwide.

"Bee Movie," considered a disappointment in some circles, contributed $27.3 million to the quarter's revenue primarily because of domestic pay TV.

Also delivering for the studio during the quarter were "Flushed Away" ($2.6 million), "Over the Hedge" ($2.4 million) and library and other revenue ($23.4 million).

Asked by an analyst whether Geffen's board departure would cause him to sell shares, executives noted that Geffen and Katzenberg have agreed to hold at least 50% of DWA's voting shares.

As of Tuesday, Geffen held 5.75% of the company's shares and 22.16% of the voting rights and Katzenberg held about 9% of the shares and 47% of voting rights.

Spielberg, who is not a DWA board member, holds about 6.7% of the stock and 2.4% of the voting rights. (partialdiff)