Lionsgate’s investment in streaming paid off during its most recent financial quarter, as its Starz TV platform topped 16.7 million global subscribers.
But it wasn’t all good news at the media company, which reported a net loss of $45.4 million and a loss of 20 cents per share. That compared unfavorably to a profit of $51.1 million or 23 cents per share in the year-ago period. Lionsgate’s revenues rose more than 10 percent to $901.2 million. The revenue numbers were in line with Wall Street’s expectations, but the earnings per share were 9 cents better than analysts’ consensus estimates.
“I’m pleased to report that we were able to lean into our resilient business model to drive strong financial results in the quarter,” said Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer. “We filled our content pipelines with exciting new properties and added valuable new titles to our library. Like the rest of the industry, Starz subscriber growth was impacted by the decline in at home viewership and, importantly, a light content quarter due to COVID-driven production delays. However, the strong opening of Power Book III: Raising Kanan two weeks after the quarter ended sparked a return to strong global subscriber growth which we expect to continue for the rest of the year.”
The recent earnings report comes as media companies are in an acquisitions and mergers binge in an effort to bolster their streaming offerings. Amazon recently agreed to buy MGM for $8.5 billion, while WarnerMedia and Discovery announced plans to merge. Smaller players have benefitted from the froth of change, with Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine recently announcing that it will be purchased by an affiliate of the Blackstone Group for $900 million. Lionsgate, relatively bite-sized in today’s conglomerated landscape, could find itself to be an acquisitions target.
Lionsgate used the most recent quarter to grow its library. In July, it acquired a 20 percent stake in Spyglass Media Group and most of its film library, which includes “The King’s Speech,” “Paddington,” and “Silver Linings Playbook.”
The company’s streaming subscriber count was up 58 percent year-over-year.
More to come…