Lionsgate Second-Quarter Earnings Rise, Beat Expectations

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Jon Feltheimer

The mini-studio's latest results show surging TV production offset falling theatrical revenue

Lionsgate on Thursday reported sharply higher second-quarter earnings as TV production surged.

The mini-studio, led by Jon Feltheimer, posted earnings of $20.8 million for the latest financial quarter, compared to a profit of $505,000 for the second quarter of fiscal 2014. Earnings per share came to $0.15, beating a Wall Street estimate of $0.11.

As Lionsgate gets set to release The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1 on Nov. 21, revenue rose 11 percent to $553 million. The big revenue drivers were strong gains in TV production, where revenue jumped 140 percent to $154.9 million, and higher motion picture revenue from pay and free TV windows.

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That offset falls in theatrical and home entertainment revenue in a quarter that saw a weak box office response to Expendables 3. Overall motion picture segment revenue during the latest frame came to $398 million, against a year-earlier $434.4 million.

Elsewhere, home entertainment revenue was $164.4 million, compared to $209.9 million in the same period last year when Now You See Me outperformed. On the TV side, Lionsgate delivered 55 episodes and 38.5 hours of TV fare, including episodes of Anger Management, Orange Is the New Black and Nashville, against 20 episodes and 11 hours of series delivered in the second quarter last year.

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Lionsgate also pointed to strong international sales for Orange Is the New Black and Anger Management.

"We're pleased that our entire portfolio of businesses contributed to our solid results in the quarter, driven by a particularly strong performance from our television operations," Feltheimer said in a statement. Top executives at the mini-major will hold an analyst call to discuss their latest financial results on Friday morning.

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