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Lions Gate posts 1Q loss on high marketing costs

Source : AP
Last Updated: Thu, Aug 09, 2012 22:21 hrs

Movie and TV studio Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. said Thursday that it lost $44.2 million in the April-June period, reversing a profit from a year ago, as it booked higher marketing costs to release movies such as "The Hunger Games".

The loss in the first fiscal quarter came to 33 cents per share, reversing a profit of $10.3 million, or 8 cents per share a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet were looking for 9 cents per share in net income.

Lions Gate released five movies in theaters in the quarter, up from just one a year ago, and it has yet to benefit from home video sales of "The Hunger Games," which goes on sale on DVD and Blu-ray on Aug. 18.

CEO Jon Feltheimer said in a statement that two-thirds of the profitability of "The Hunger Games" is still ahead.

The company also blamed the loss on higher costs for compensating executives with stock and the expense of integrating "Twilight" maker Summit Entertainment, which it acquired for $412.5 million in January.

Revenue surged 81 percent to $471.8 million, thanks mainly to "The Hunger Games" ticket sales. The movie has grossed nearly $700 million worldwide.

The revenue beat the $442 million expected by analysts.

Motion picture revenue more than doubled to $407 million. The figure includes $138 million in revenue from movie ticket sales, which were over five times greater than a year ago.

Revenue from production of TV shows such as "Mad Men" and "Weeds" fell 5 percent to $65 million because the company delivered fewer shows into syndication than it did a year ago.

Lions Gate has headquarters in Santa Monica, Calif., but is based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Its shares fell 38 cents, or 2.8 percent, to close at $13.25. In after-hours trading they gave up another 40 cents.



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