It’s a good thing the company has the films ahead of it because the Q2 results out today wouldn’t impress many investors if the company proceeds with its recently announced IPO plan. MGM had nothing to say about that effort in its quarterly earnings report to debt holders. But in a conference call today on the Q2 results, MGM Holdings CEO Gary Barber said the transaction to buy back Carl Icahn’s approximate 24% stake in the company – valued at $590M – “has closed and has been fully funded”. The move, he says “provides the board with the flexibility to make capital market decisions that are in the best interest of MGM’s business and our stockholders as a whole, including a possible IPO.” The studio generated net income of $42.6M in the quarter — up from $13.7M a year ago — on revenues of $128.4M, -34%. MGM says the revenue drop is largely due to its decision to hold back on new releases, including “a strategic moratorium we imposed on new DVD shipments for James Bond franchise titles” in the lead-up to Skyfall. The 23rd James Bond film will be released on November 9. Home video sales were -47.9% to $28.4M. The dearth of new TV releases resulted in a 25.3% drop in TV licensing revenues to $70.9M, with much of that coming from syndication of Teen Wolf. Last year the category was helped by USA Network’s domestic basic cable premiere of the Bond film Quantum Of Solace. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, a co-production with Time Warner’s New Line, will hit theaters on December 14. MGM also says it says that it expects to gain as much as $37M from the recent agreement to sell its interest in MGM Networks overseas channels — except for ones in Germany, Italy, and the UK — to Liberty GLobal’s Cellomedia.
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