Lionsgate's Quarterly Earnings Showcase TV Production Growth

Courtesy of Netflix

Revenue at its TV production segment nearly doubled in the quarter.

The popularity of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 helped Lionsgate narrowly beat quarterly earnings expectations, with the company reporting on Thursday that it earned 65 cents per share, one cent above analysts' expectations. Revenue, though, was down 11 percent to $751.3 million.

While Lionsgate's conference call to discuss the result with analysts isn't until tomorrow, Wall Street so far isn't impressed with the company's fiscal third-quarter results. During the regular session, the stock was up 1 percent to $29.30, but after the closing bell it was sinking 6 percent.

Beyond Mockingjay, which was released in November and has collected $714 million in box-office revenue worldwide, Lionsgate said that a robust domestic television business and lower marketing costs helped it to beat financial expectations.

Revenue for the TV production segment nearly doubled, in fact, to $161.2 million as Lionsgate delivered a record 74 episodes of shows like Anger Management, Orange is the New Black, Nashville, Ascension, Mad Men and Manhattan.

The company's motion-picture segment saw a hefty 22 percent decline in revenue to $590.1 million as Mockingjay and John Wick were no match for four releases in the year-ago quarter: Ender's Game, Escape Plan, A Madea Christmas and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

Lionsgate's home entertainment revenue for the quarter dipped 10 percent to $200.7 million, though Mockingjay won't roll out digitally until Feb. 17 and on DVD and Blu-ray until March 6.

"Our television division had another stellar quarter as it continues to emerge as a leading supplier of premium scripted content and our film business achieved strong profitability with a diverse portfolio of films," said CEO Jon Feltheimer. "We're also pleased to see our digital initiatives beginning to deliver incremental revenue and profits, and we expect their contributions to grow."