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Lionsgate Trims Quarterly Loss on Strong Revenue Gain – The Hollywood Reporter


Lionsgate has released its fourth quarter financial results while continuing talks with multiple bidders on a possible sale or spinoff of the premium cable and streaming platform Starz or its studio business.

The Hollywood studio trimmed its fourth quarter net loss attributable to shareholder to $96.8 million, against a year-earlier loss of $104.6 million, on overall revenue rising 17 percent to 1.08 billion, compared to a year-earlier $929.9 million, which beat a Wall Street analyst estimate by $92 million for the latest quarter.

Lionsgate posted an earnings per-share loss of 42 cents, compared to a year-earlier per-share loss of 46 cents. The adjusted earnings per-share of 21 cents, against a year-earlier 1 cent per-share profit. beat an analyst estimate for a 9 cents-per share loss by 30 cents.

The studio also reported record trailing 12-month library revenue of $884 million in the quarter from a mix of film and TV content. During the fourth quarter, the studio gained from the industry’s box office rebound as John Wick: Chapter 4, Jesus Revolution and Plane performed at the multiplex.

And Lionsgate Television’s strong slate secured renewals with Ghosts for CBS and Acapulco for Apple TV+, ahead a rookie series launch set for Love and Death on HBO Max. And the Canadian comedy Son of Critch was picked up for multiple seasons at The CW Network in the U.S. after getting a third season renewal on the CBC north of the border.

Lionsgate is exploring its options for Starz, including a possible separation of the pay TV and streaming business and its studio operations. The goal appears to be creating two standalone companies so investors can value the Starz and studio assets separately.

Lionsgate said it added 1.3 million global streaming subscribers to get 20.4 million customers in all at the end of the fourth quarter, and had 30.3 million total global TV subscribers, which includes linear TV and over-the-top subscribers, at the end of the same period.

During the latest quarter, media networks revenue, which is mostly Starz, grew revenue by 2.3 percent to $389 million, while motion picture group revenue increased 85 percent to $532.1 million, and TV production revenue fell to $291.5 million during the fourth quarter, compared to a year-earlier $370.2 million.

Ahead of a possible sale or spinoff of Starz, the studio has continued to restructure that business, having taken an expected $85.5 million impairment charge during the fourth quarter to March 31, 2023 to reflect the previously-announced exit of Lionsgate+ (formerly STARZPLAY International) from seven international territories, including in Europe and Japan, and removing certain TV titles from the Starz platform.

The studio is touting its 17,000-strong programming library as difficult to replicate and an appealing target for a bigger media player looking to bolt on an indie studio. And despite volatile financial markets, the entertainment industry has seen a recent spate of mergers and acquisitions as major players dive into the streaming space and indie studios get bought up for scale and content.

“We enter fiscal (20)24 with strong earnings momentum and all the elements in place for strong growth,” Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer said in a statement ahead of an after-market analyst call.

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