Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. reported net income of $13.6 million for the fiscal quarter ending June 30 -- a notable improvement over the same period a year earlier, when the company lost $44.2 million despite having the blockbuster "The Hunger Games" in theaters for much of that three-month period.
Revenue rose 21% to $569.7 million. Lions Gate posted adjusted earnings per share of 10 cents, an improvement on the per-share loss of 33 cents a year earlier.
“The fact that our quarter compared favorably to a first quarter last year that included most of the domestic release of the first 'Hunger Games' film illustrates the diversity of our business," said Jon Feltheimer, chief executive of Lions Gate, in a statement.
Shares of Lions Gate rose 20 cents on Thursday to close at $34.23, not far from an all-time high of $34.70 set earlier in the day.
Lions Gate's fiscal years end March 31, making the quarter ending June 30 the company's first of its 2014 fiscal year.
The company's motion picture business segment, which includes home entertainment and international operations, posted revenue of $438.6 million -- an increase of 8% over the same quarter a year ago.
The studio was helped by the success of “Now You See Me,” a surprise hit that has grossed $233 million worldwide.
Though Lions Gate didn't benefit from a film the size of "Hunger Games" hitting movie theaters, the company said its home entertainment segment was buoyed by films including "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2," "Warm Bodies" and "The Impossible," among others. Home entertainment revenue -- including motion pictures and television -- was up 16% to $169.4 million.
The company's television production segment posted revenue of $131.1 million, more than double the sales from a year ago. Lions Gate attributed the increase to the licensing of domestic television series and international sales. Among the TV projects delivered during the quarter was the critically acclaimed new Netflix series, "Orange Is the New Black."
Lions Gate, which acquired "Twilight" franchise distributor Summit Entertainment in January 2012, is releasing the second installment of "The Hunger Games" film series in November. The first movie in the series grossed $691 million worldwide.
Also bowing in November is "Ender's Game," which, like "Hunger Games," is based on a popular series of novels aimed at young adults. The "Ender's Game" author, Orson Scott Card, has come under scrunity for his opposition to same-sex marriage and Lions Gate has disavowed Card's views.
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