The stock is down 6.6% in initial trading after the independent studio released its results for the first three months of 2014. Year over year comparisons are complicated by a $141.M tax benefit Lionsgate received in the period in 2013. With that factored in, net income fell nearly 70% to $49.2M on revenues of $721.9M, -8%. The top line missed analysts’ prediction of $823.6M. Earnings at 35 cents a share also were short of forecasts for 40 cents. Investors’ feelings about the company could change tomorrow morning when execs likely will offer financial guidance for the next year or two.
The Street figured that this might be a tough quarter for Lionsgate. Its film Divergent was released in late March, which meant the company had to recognize its costs in the latest quarterly report while the revenues, from April and May, will appear in the numbers for the three months ending in June. But the Television Production operation benefited from sales for the seventh season of Mad Men, new episodes of Orange Is The New Black and Nashville, as well as WGN America’s Manhattan. It’s not immediately apparent how individual operations did in the quarter: It was the end of Lionsgate’s fiscal year, and most of the data it presented is for the full 12 months. The company says that fiscal year revenues at the Motion Picture unit fell 6.3% to $2.18B, with theatrical sales down 2% to $524.7M. Television Production was +18% to $447.4M. “The trajectory of our business, the depth of our content pipelines and the ongoing generation of predictable income from our film franchises, television properties and filmed entertainment library continue to give us excellent long-term visibility,” CEO Jon Feltheimer says.