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DreamWorks Animation Makes Money Without New Movies

Analysts expected DreamWorks Animation to lose $0.03 cents per share

DreamWorks Animation made money in the first fiscal quarter of 2013 without help from the release of a new movie. The company posted net income of $5.6 million and earnings per share of $0.07, surprising Wall Street analysts that forecast a loss. 

The company pieced together $134.6 million in revenue from home entertainment, live theatrical performances, its library and Classic Media, a company it acquired last July. Its library contributed $41.4 million in revenue while past releases like "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted" and "Rise of the Guardians" helped on the home entertainment side.

The company had lost $82.7 million dollar in its previous quarter, forcing it to layoff 350 employees. The loss was due in large part to the underwhelming theatrical performance of “Rise and the Guardians." Though that film made $302 million at the worldwide box office, the cost of producing and marketing the film forced the studio to take a substantial write-down.

Also read: Behind DreamWorks Animation Layoffs: Costs Are Out of Control

The film was a rare miss for the studio, which has birthed iconic franchises such as “Shrek” and “Kung Fu Panda.” However, it reinforced the need to diversify the company's sources of revenue by pursuing opportunities in consumer products and television.

DreamWorks Animation rebounded with its most recent film, “The Croods,” the first film released through its new distribution deal with Fox. "The Croods" has grossed $468 million at the box office to-date, and as the only major animated film in distribution for much of the Spring, the film has held up quite well, particularly overseas.

As it opened March 22, most of its grosses will factor into the second fiscal quarter. It contributed just $4 million in revenue to the first quarter, but that didn't stop CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg from banging the drum.

Katzenberg described the film as a home run on a call with analysts and said it was his company's sixth franchise in 12 years.

"This year is off to an outstanding start for DreamWorks Animation," Katzenberg said in a statement. "'The Croods' has reached a blockbuster level of nearly $480 million at the worldwide box office and is well on its way to becoming the number one movie released during the first four months of 2013."

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