Nobody knew what to expect from Lionsgate’s first earnings report after it bought Starz, and the release out this afternoon for the last three months of 2016 will leave many continuing to scratch their heads.
The results include a $52 million restructuring cost, a $28 million loss from debt extinguishing, and a $20 million gain from Lionsgate’s investment in Starz stock.
The net result was a $31 million loss, down from a $33 million profit in the period last year, on revenues of $752 million, up 12.1%. The top line was short of the $761.6 million that Wall Street expected.
But after factoring out the one-time adjustments, earnings came in at 21 cents a share — beating analysts’ predictions of 17 cents.
Lionsgate’s stock price is down 2.2% in initial post-market trading.
“We’re pleased to report increased profits across our film, television and media networks divisions as well as another strong revenue performance from our Television Group,” CEO Jon Feltheimer says. “We’ve just completed one of our busiest and most productive quarters ever as we continue to scale our global content platform and integrate Starz into our operations. Our strong film and television offerings are now complemented by our Starz premium network that is becoming a ‘must have’ value proposition for the digital age.”
The Motion Pictures business showed a 54.6% increase in operating income as revenues fell 13.0% to $440 million. Although Lionsgate had critically acclaimed releases including La La Land, Hacksaw Ridge, and Manchester By The Sea, they didn’t pack the box office punch of late 2015’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2.
Television Production profits rose 116.7% to $26 million with revenues up 38.8% to $229 million helped by delivery of episodes of Orange Is The New Black to Netflix and the 3-hour musical Dirty Dancing.
The numbers also reflect the fact that Lionsgate had Pilgrim Media Group for the entire quarter in 2016, but not in 2015. The $201.7 million deal to buy 62.5% of the company closed on November 12, 2015.
The Starz-dominated Media Networks unit reported $33 million in profits on $85 million in revenues. The results aren’t comparable to last year because they just include Starz’s contributions from the December 8 closing date.
Lionsgate notes separately, though, that Starz’s profits more than doubled to $129 million for the entire quarter while revenues improved 4.6% to $343 million.