What financial reports reveal about entertainment

Last Updated: Thu, May 03, 2012 19:02 hrs


April 12: Coinstar Inc. raises its first-quarter and full-year revenue guidance on the popularity of its Redbox movie business. Coinstar says recent price hikes didn't dampen movie rentals during the period as much as it thought they might. And consumer demand jumped on the popularity of movies such as "Moneyball" and "Puss and Boots."

April 23: Netflix Inc. says it added 1.7 million Internet video subscribers in the U.S. and 1.2 million elsewhere to end the quarter with 26.5 million. The company says it lost 1.1 million DVD customers to end with 10.1 million. Netflix says about 7 million of the DVD customers also subscribe to the streaming service. Although Netflix's comeback from a customer backlash accelerated during the first quarter, skittish investors keyed on a second-quarter forecast that calls for a slowdown in subscriber growth during the spring and early summer.

April 26: Coinstar Inc.'s first-quarter earnings soared as its Redbox kiosks proved there is still plenty of money to be made renting low-priced DVDs while Netflix and other services focus on streaming video. Revenue climbed 34 percent. Most of the gains flowed from the nearly 37,000 Redbox kiosks that Coinstar has set up in stores to dispense DVDs for $1.20 per month. Redbox has been picking up more customers since Netflix' raised its prices by as much as 60 percent last summer.

April 27: Big-screen theater technology company Imax Corp. reports a first-quarter net income, reversing a loss, as its theater network expanded and audiences showed up in big numbers for movies such as "Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol" and "The Hunger Games."

Tuesday: CBS Corp. says net income grew 80 percent in the first quarter, as revenue surged on digital licensing deals for its TV shows and overseas sales of reruns.

Satellite radio company Sirius XM Radio Inc. says profit rose 38 percent, as it continued to add subscribers and raised prices.

Wednesday: Time Warner Inc. says adjusted income beat Wall Street's expectations on the strengths of the company's television and movie studio businesses. Big performers included "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" and "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island." The Warner Bros. division also benefited from higher licensing revenue of TV shows and the availability of a CW television series on Netflix, but revenue from DVDs and other home entertainment sales fell.

Comcast Corp.'s NBCUniversal division shone in the quarter. It accounts for a third of Comcast's revenue, but grew much faster, at 18 percent from last year. Revenue at the NBC broadcast network grew 37 percent thanks to the Super Bowl, which was broadcast on Fox last year. Excluding the Super Bowl, NBC's revenue grew 17 percent, helped by improving prime-time ratings and shows like "The Voice" and "Smash." At Universal Studios, revenue grew 22 percent on the theatrical success of "Dr. Seuss' The Lorax" and "Safe House."

Movie studio DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. says first-quarter earnings rose slightly as both revenue and costs increased. More than half of the company's revenue came from ticket sales of its animated feature "Puss in Boots" overseas and its release on home video in the U.S. Recent titles like "Kung Fu Panda 2" also contributed to revenue. The studio's second-quarter and full-year results are expected to be driven by the release of "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted" on June 8.

Thursday: Viacom Inc., the owner of Paramount Pictures, MTV and Nickelodeon, says net income rose 56 percent, even though a slate of movies that was lackluster compared with last year held back revenue. Revenue rose 5 percent at Viacom's TV networks, and fell 5 percent at Paramount, as movies like "The Devil Inside," ''A Thousand Words," and "Jeff, Who Lives at Home," did not match hits from last year like "Rango" and "No Strings Attached." However, the lower movie revenue was more than offset by lower distribution costs, so Paramount's operating income expanded, contributing to the overall profit increase.

Coming up:

May 8: The Walt Disney Co.

May 9: News Corp.

May 10: Sony Corp.

Not yet known: Warner Music Group Corp., Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.

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