Lionsgate on Thursday posted revenue of $885 million for its fiscal third quarter ended in December, up from $836 million a year ago but below Wall Street forecasts of just under $1 billion. A net loss of 20 cents a share was in line. The stock is off about 5% in late trading on the news.
Starz’s net global streaming subscribers were up 1.7 million in the sequential quarter to 19.7 million, up 44% year over year. Starz revenue and segment profit were still impacted by Covid-related production delays, but programming is now back on track
The numbers hit as the company sits squarely in the center of a media M&A media storm, including a potential acquisition of STX Entertainment and a search for strategic alternatives for Starz. The Starz initiative was announced in November and put the entire company in play, meaning it could be a buyer or seller at a time when demand for premium content has never been higher.
Management feels Lionsgate shares are terribly undervalued and that separating out Starz will highlight its value.
As for STX, it was recently sold by Eros Jahm Najafi’s Phoenix-based The Najafi Companies for $173 million in a deal that included a 45-day window for alternative proposals. Other suitors are also reportedly in the mix for the STX assets, which include Jennifer Lopez’s highest-grossing live-action domestic movie, Hustlers ($105M), and the Bad Moms comedy franchise.
Lionsgate’s execs are hosting at call today 5 pm ET.
By segment, Lionsgate motion picture biz delivered revenue of $275 million, up from $250 million. Profit rose to $67 million from $50 million. TV production sales jumped to $438M from $228M; rofit fell to $19M from $29M. Media Networks’ sales were off at $388M from $406M; profits dipped to $28M from $81M. Film and television library revenue was $771M for the trailing 13 months.
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