Lionsgate reported third-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street forecasts, but its total revenue fell short of the mark.
On a diluted basis, earnings came in at 10 cents a share, better than analysts’ forecast for eight cents. Revenue of $933.2 million slid 18% and did meet the Street’s forecast of $1.01 billion.
The rebuilding film division had a rough quarter, with revenue dropping 33% to $362.6 million and profit falling 20% to $43.5 million. The company blamed the downturn on misfires (which it didn’t name, but which include Robin Hood), as well as tough comparisons with the year-ago quarter, which included the blockbuster Wonder.
Media Networks, anchored by Starz, saw revenues inch up 4% to $366.8 million due to OTT subscriber growth. Segment profits increased nearly 10% to $134.1 million. Domestic subscribers held steady with the second quarter at 25.1 million, tacking on 1.1 million compared with the prior-year period.
Television Production segment revenues dropped 19% to $216.5 million and profit sagged to $21.2 million compared to $27.8 million the year before. The company cited the timing of certain episodic deliveries, which moved out of fiscal 2019.
“We’re pleased to report a strong quarter with significant free cash flow and continued revenue and subscriber growth at Starz,” CEO Jon Feltheimer said in the earnings release. “As we refill our feature film and television pipelines at a robust pace and take our integration of Lionsgate and Starz to the next level, all signs are pointing to strong growth in the year ahead.”
As 2019 began, Lionsgate found itself in a more challenging position that it did a year ago. Its stock price, which closed today down 1.7% at $16.39, is more than $10 below the levels of early 2018.