Lionsgate Adjusted Earnings Beat Wall Street Expectations, But Media Networks Subscriber Levels Dip From Prior Quarter

Lionsgate reported results for its fiscal 2022 first quarter that cleared the expectations bar but also reflected a quarter-to-quarter subscriber slowdown at Starz.

On an adjusted basis, earnings per share of 18 cents doubled Wall Street forecasts but declined from 23 cents in the same period of the prior year.

Total revenue rose 11% to $901.2 million, largely in line with analysts’ expectations for the period ending June 30.

In reporting the financials, the company noted that the transaction last month in which Lionsgate took a 20% stake in Spyglass Media Group occurred outside of the quarter.

Revenue inched up 4% in the Media Networks division, which includes premium network Starz, as profit increased 23% to $88.2 million. The profit upswing was driven by lower cadence of programming and content spending, the company said.

Global subscriber levels totaled 28.9 million, down from 29.5 million in the quarter ending March 31. On a year-over-year basis, streaming numbers showed more progress, rising 58% to 16.7 million globally as streaming continued to outpace linear. StarzPlay International’s subscriber base grew 106% to 7 million compared with the year-ago period.

The Motion Picture division also saw revenue rise 4% to $291.2 million, but profit fell by more than half, to $44.3 million compared with $101.1 million. The company blamed higher P&A spend in the quarter, compared with the 2020 quarter, which had no theatrical releases due to Covid-19 theater closures.

Television Production’s results was a bright spot in the quarter. Revenue shot up 97% to $386.1 million, with profit of $3 million fueled by 13 new series orders and seven pilots picked up to series. All of the production entity’s freshman series from last season have been renewed for second seasons.

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