Lions Gate Tops Analysts’ Profit Estimates on TV Production

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., the independent film company that agreed to buy the Starz cable-TV networks in June, reported a fiscal first-quarter profit that exceeded analysts’ projections, the result of gains in TV production.

Profit fell to 19 cents a share, excluding some items, Santa Monica, California-based Lions Gate said Thursday in a statement. Analysts were projecting loss of 12 cents a share, the average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Lions Gate rose 6.4 percent to $20.26 at 9:51 a.m. in New York. The stock had dropped 41 percent this year through Thursday’s close.

The acquisition of Starz for $4.4 billion in cash, stock and assumed debt, will build on Lions Gate’s TV business. The deal gives the company premium cable-TV channels to operate alongside its movie and TV production businesses.

  • Sales grew 35 percent to $553.6 million in the quarter ended June 30, beating projections of $494.5 million.
  • Net income came to $1.3 million, or 1 cent a share, down from $40.7 million, or 28 cents, a year earlier.
  • Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization fell to $40.7 million in the quarter from $71 million a year earlier due to higher marketing and distribution costs for movies.
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