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Lionsgate Shares Rise on Positive Q4 Earnings

Studio launches Starz channels on Amazon Prime in the UK and Germany

Lionsgate reported earnings for its fiscal 2018 fourth quarter on Thursday that were above Wall Street’s expectations.

The film and TV studio reported earnings of 41 cents per share for the quarter. Adjusted earnings were 25 cents per share, up from 28 cents per share during the same quarter a year ago. Analysts were expecting the company to report a loss of 4 cents per share, according to estimates gathered by Yahoo Finance.

Revenue for the quarter was $1.04 billion, down from the $1.26 billion Lionsgate reported last year, and just above analyst’s forecasted $1.03 billion.

The company said in a release that earnings benefited from the change in U.S. federal corporate tax rates.

“Our strong quarter capped a successful year in which we exceeded our internal and consensus financial expectations with significant contributions across our film, television and Starz platforms,” Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer said in a statement. “We enter fiscal 2019 well positioned to continue growing our worldwide content platform, deepening our key talent relationships, and rolling out Starz as a truly global consumer brand.  Today I’m pleased to announce that we’ve taken a major step forward in this initiative by launching STARZPLAY branded channels in the UK and Germany on Amazon Prime Video.”

During the company’s earnings call Feltheimer said Lionsgate plans to roll the channel out to 15 more territories in the next 3 years.

Starz will also arrive on YouTube TV next month and on Hulu in October. Lionsgate is planning to invest heavily in Starz during its fiscal 2019, as well as its film division.

Lionsgate’s media networks saw revenue increase 5 percent to $1.53 billion due to strong over-the-top growth. The company said OTT subscribers, including Starz, increased 101 percent increase during the fiscal year.

Revenue for Lionsgate’s film division fell to $424.9 million in the quarter, compared with $654.0 million during the year-earlier period.

The entertainment company said film revenue dropped 11 percent in the full fiscal 2018 due to a smaller theatrical slate and tough comparisons considering last year included the Oscar-nominated hit “La La Land.”

TV production revenue for the year fell to $805 million, compared with $843 million in the prior year.