Lionsgate stock closed down 12% today, as investors reacted to the company’s revised guidance for the next two years.
Although the company yesterday beat Wall Street earnings estimates for its third quarter, executives cautioned Thursday that growth would slow to “mid to high single digits” because of increased investment in content — especially in original programming at Starz.
Cowen & Co. analyst Doug Creutz wrote that he was a little surprised by the revised guidance, noting he had been skeptical of earlier, more aggressive forecasts from Lionsgate.
“We view film as unlikely to sustain growth given secular pressure,” Creutz wrote. “And while we do think TV production is likely to grow … its ability to drive overall growth remains limited.”
Creutz said the “onus” will be on Starz to grow at a double-digit rate, but added, “nothing in that asset’s past or present convinces us this is in the cards.”
Bernstein’s Todd Juenger wrote that a “sizable group of investors” say they like Lionsgate but think the stock is too expensive. The lowered guidance will only serve to underscore that perception.
The market spoke today, with Lionsgate’s stock dropping $3.76 cents to close at $26.81.
Lionsgate’s stock also has fluctuated amid speculation that it would be an attractive take-over target, as the industry consolidates.