MGM Ends A Financially Strong 2015 With Mixed Q4 Results

Updated with information from conference call, and corrected unit revenues: MGM roared today about its strong financial performance for all of 2015, although its results in the last three months of the year appear mixed.

For the full year, the studio reported net income of $252.5 million, up 62.2% vs 2014, on revenues of $1.56 billion, up 7.9%.

MGM didn’t break out Q4 numbers. But if you subtract previously reported results for the first nine months of 2015, it seems that net income fell 17.1%, to $34.6 million, in the year-end period on revenues of $707.5 million, up 26.5%.

“Our ability to achieve three consecutive years of record profits is a credit to the quality of our content, the depth of our extensive library, and strong execution by our management team,” CEO Gary Barber said in a statement. “Our acquisition of United Artists Media Group and addition of Mark Burnett to our executive team further bolsters MGM’s position as a leading provider of premium content.”

Theatrical revenues in Q4 appear to be up 87.1% to $363.1 million helped by the James Bond film Spectre. MGM says it did not recognize much revenue for Creed, released in late November.

Home entertainment sales apparently increased 8% to $98.3 million in Q4. MGM says that it took a hit as foreign currencies weakened against the dollar. For the full year, the studio notes that it doesn’t control all home entertainment distribution rights for several of this year’s titles  while in 2014 it did control releases including RoboCop, Carrie and If I Stay.

TV Licensing appears to have dropped 7.9% to $219.4 million in Q4. MGM’s report just discusses the full year results which improved 3.3% to $911.6 million.

Elsewhere in the report, MGM says that its full year take from the net income from Epix — its joint venture with Viacom and Lionsgate — increased 51% to $34.2 million.

In Q4 MGM generated $130 million in adjusted EBITDA — a measure of cash flow the company closely tracks. That’s up 14% from the last three months of 2014.

Barber told MGM’s private investors in a conference call that he expects to have an agreement with Fox to renew their home entertainment distribution deal “in the very near future.”

He says that a sequel to Creed is “in development.”

Barber’s also talking with several studios about a new distribution agreement for the Bond franchise. He’s “very confident we will be able to drive a significant deal,” but there’s “no rush” to complete it. “We’re evaluating all of our options and meeting with all of the studios.”

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