MGM Beats Earnings Guidance With Full-Year Results, Despite 'Ben-Hur' Losses

Paramount Pictures

The parent of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer posted $61 million in film impairment charges, due mainly to the Biblical-themed epic bombing at the worldwide box office.

MGM Holdings, parent of the Hollywood studio behind the James Bond film franchise, on Wednesday posted full-year 2016 results that included adjusted earnings that surpassed the company's previous guidance.

For the year to Dec. 31, 2016, MGM posted net income of $156 million on total revenue at $1.18 billion, against a year-earlier net income of $252 million on overall revenue at $1.56 billion. MGM's full-year 2015 results included box office from the worldwide release of Spectre in the fourth quarter.

For its latest financial results, the studio posted an adjusted EBITIDA of $401 million, or 7 percent lower than the adjusted EBITIDA of $431 million for fiscal 2015. The latest adjusted earnings line was still 3 percent higher than the company's full-year guidance update published in September 2016.

MGM on the film side was weighed down by $61 million in film impairment charges, due mainly to Ben-Hur. Russian filmmaker Timur Bekmambetov's Biblical-themed epic cost $110 million to make and grossed a disappointing $94.1 million at the global box office. 

On the TV side, MGM saw adjusted EBITIDA for TV content rise $75 million, or 125 percent, to $134 million, as a result of the acquisition of United Artists Management Group and deliveries of Vikings, Survivor and Shark Tank, among other series.

The studio's TV business is run by Mark Burnett, the reality TV pioneer behind such hits as Survivor, The Apprentice, Shark Tank and The Voice and the driving force — along with his wife, Roma Downey — behind the miniseries The Bible and other faith-based programming.