Looks like DreamWorks Animation solidly beat analyst forecasts for the top and bottom lines, sending the share price soaring more than 10% in initial post-market trading. The studio reported net income of $42.1 million in Q4, up from a $263.2 million loss in the year end period for 2014 which included several one-time charges, on revenues of $319.3 million, up 36.3%.
The revenue number was well ahead of the $274.0 million that analysts expected. Reported net earnings at 48 cents a share topped forecasts for 16 cents.
The studio delivered its best top line result in 11 years, CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg says. He reaffirmed DWA’s “commitment to profitably grow our businesses while keeping a sharp eye on cost management and productivity improvements. While there is still much work to be done before we cross the goal line on the objectives we shared a year ago, we enter 2016 with considerable momentum.”
The Q4 numbers compare with a dismal report for the end of 2014. It included a $57.1 million impairment charge tied to Penguins Of Madagascar and Mr. Peabody And Sherman. In addition DWA wrote off $54.6 million for layoffs, and $155.5 million from unreleased projects including B.O.O. and Monkeys Of Mumbai.
Although Katzenberg lately has urged investors to focus on his growing TV business, films and consumer products were the biggest contributors to the better than expected results for the end of 2015.
Feature Films revenues increased 11.5% to $146.4 million. Home video and worldwide pay TV sales for Home added $55.3 million while The Penguins of Madagascar kicked in $13.8 million. Library titles contributed $71.2 million with extensions of DWA’s streaming deals for some titles plus TV and home video sales for The Croods and Turbo.
Television Series and Specials sales increased nearly 107% to $104.9 million — less than some analysts expected. DWA attributes the boost to “a significantly higher number of episodes delivered” to Netflix as well as “an extension of existing licensing arrangements.”
And Consumer Products revenues were up 43.4% to $31.7 million. The company attributes much of the growth to “retail development and location based entertainment initiatives” as well as licensed merchandise for TV series.