shares rose 3% after the film maker offered solid guidance for fiscal 2007.
The Santa Monica, Calif., producer of
said it earned $6.1 million, or 6 cents a share, for the year ended March 31, compared to $20.3 million, or 20 cents a share, for the prior year. Revenue jumped 13% to $951.2 million. Lionsgate said free cash flow rose to $102.8 million from $93 million a year ago.
Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected the company to earn 4 cents a share on $891.5 million in revenue for fiscal 2006.
"We achieved strong growth throughout our core businesses in fiscal 2006, generating more than $100 million in free cash flow and over $950 million in revenues while continuing to invest in our businesses, add value to our library and strengthen our balance sheet," said CEO Jon Feltheimer. "We currently have the strongest cash position and one of the strongest filmed entertainment backlogs in our history. We plan to continue to invest in our business organically and through acquisitions while adding value to our content through exploitation of fresh distribution platforms and new and incremental digital revenue streams."
Theatrical revenue grew 2% to $145.5 million; home video take was up 13% to $527.2 million; TV production revenue surged 60% to $132.9 million; and international revenue dropped 23% to $61.2 million.
Bank of America's Michael Savner, who has a buy rating on the stock, said in a research note that "results that were generally above our estimates and Street consensus across the board," though he added that the numbers weren't "above reproach." Bank of America has a stake in LGF and does business with the company.
Entertainment president Steve Beeks said on a conference call Thursday that the adoption of Blu-ray DVD and the sale of films on Internet services such as cinemanow.com should help the home entertainment business to show growth. Lionsgate expects its library to spin off $70 million in free cash flow this year. The company said it will continue to be aggressive in building and exploiting its already substantial library.
The studio plans to release some 18 films during its next fiscal year, a dozen of which will go into wide theatrical release.
The company expects to post more than $900 million in 2007 revenue, along with $85 million in free cash flow and pretax income of $32 million. Feltheimer said those results will be driven by factors such as success of the film slate, digital downloads, TV shows now going into syndication and from self-distribution of films in some international markets.
The company expects to make an announcement about a new
horror channel within the next 8 to 10 weeks.
Lionsgate shares rose 25 cents Thursday to $8.91.