Liberty Media Corporation (“Liberty”) (Nasdaq: LMCA, LMCB) today reported fourth quarter and year end 2011 results. Highlights include (1):
- Increased STARZ and ENCORE subscriptions by 8% and 1%, respectively
- Premiered the STARZ Original series, Spartacus: Vengeance on January 27 th, to strong, sustained viewership
- Announced new STARZ Original series, Marco Polo, in collaboration with The Weinstein Company and Electus
- Extended Starz affiliation agreement with AT&T U-verse
- Enhanced Starz liquidity with $1.5 billion credit facility
- Value of Liberty’s equity stake in SiriusXM increased to $5.4 billion as of February 22 nd, 2012
- Repurchased $124 million of Liberty Media stock from November 1 st through January 31 st, 2012
- Repurchased $49 million of old Liberty Starz stock from November 1 st through November 28 th, 2011
“Starz again posted impressive subscriber gains and accelerated its slate of STARZ Original content with Boss and Spartacus: Vengeance,” stated Greg Maffei, Liberty President and CEO. “We created an asset backed stock and took advantage of the soft equity markets repurchasing $173 million worth of our shares. SiriusXM again posted record results and our equity investment in the company is now worth over $5.4 billion.”
Liberty Media’s revenue increased 96% to $1.0 billion in the fourth quarter and 48% to $3.0 billion for the year. Adjusted OIBDA (2) increased 205% to $323 million for the fourth quarter and 227% to $1.1 billion for the year, while operating income increased 241% to $293 million in the fourth quarter and 391% to $957 million for the year. The increase in revenue, adjusted OIBDA and operating income for the fourth quarter and the year is primarily related to the one-time recognition of previously deferred revenue and costs at TruePosition.
Starz, LLC“Starz finished 2011 with solid business performance, including record highs in both STARZ and ENCORE subscriptions,” said Chris Albrecht, Starz, LLC, CEO. “We could not be more pleased with the performance of Spartacus: Vengeance, which continues to set record new viewership marks for a STARZ Original series. The anticipation for April’s Magic City is growing and we are heartened by the strong demand received in the global marketplace. Finally, the recent AT&T U-verse affiliation and Lionsgate movie library licensing agreements fortified our distribution business and long-term content pipeline respectively.” Starz’s revenue increased 8% to $432 million for the fourth quarter and decreased 1% to $1.6 billion for the year. The increase in revenue for the fourth quarter was primarily a result of an increase in home video revenue due to the distribution agreement entered into in 2011 with The Weinstein Company LLC and an increase in revenue from the Starz Channels. Revenue for the year decreased due to the shutdown of the theatrical production and distribution operations in 2010 and the sale of a portion of the animation business in early 2011. Such decreases more than offset revenue increases in 2011 from the Starz Channels and the home video business. Subscribers increased 8% and 1% for the STARZ and ENCORE linear channels, respectively, for the fourth quarter compared to the fourth quarter 2010. Subscription growth in 2011 was negatively impacted by a lack of cooperative marketing campaigns with certain distribution partners and a reduction in subscribers from one flat rate deal affiliate.