UPDATE: DreamWorks Animation just disclosed the SEC investigation in its conference call with analysts and says it’s cooperating. The company took a $13.5M writedown on Turbo in February. DWA told analysts that it won’t comment further on the matter. Shares were down 8.2% after the news; if that holds tomorrow then it would be a 52-week low.
Separately, CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg declined to comment on the potential impact on his company if its distributor, Fox, acquires Time Warner. “Honestly, it’s way above my pay grade,” he says.
DWA said that it has bought from Paramount distribution rights to its feature films prior to 2013. They’ll now all be handled by Fox.
Katzenberg calls 2014 an investment year for DWA as it builds consumer products, TV programming, digital, and location-based entertainment. He adds that, generally speaking, the film “marketplace has gotten tougher. We’re competing against more movies than we have in the past.” Still, he says DWA is examining the lower-than-expected sales for Dragon 2.
PREVIOUS, 1:18 PM: The stock is down 7.3% in post-market trading after the studio disclosed disappointing Q2 results with its latest film, How To Train Your Dragon 2, still “in an un-recouped position.” DreamWorks Animation generated a net loss of $15.4M, down from a $22.3M profit in the period last year, on revenues of $122.3M, -42.7%. That’s way short of analyst expectations for revenues to hit $137.9M. And the loss, at 18 cents a share, far exceeded the consensus forecast for a 2 cent loss.
CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg says that Dragon 2 “will be a highly profitable film for the Company and DreamWorks Dragons will remain a very valuable franchise for many years to come.”
The film was released on June 13 — toward the end of the quarter — and only contributed $2.6M to DWA’s Q2 revenues. The feature film segment had $69.7M in revenues with a $23.9M gross profit. Home videos and international TV sales for Turbo added $11M to the top line. The Croods kicked in $25.5M from international pay TV, and library titles added $27.1M.
Television shows led by Turbo F.A.S.T on Netflix added $20M in revenues with a $1.2M gross profit. Consumer Products had $18.5M in revenue with a $7.3M gross profit.