According to Lionsgate boss, the company has a better library than MGM

Subscriber growth at Starz sent Lionsgate shares higher in after-hours trading, giving investors optimism the media company will be able to command top dollar if it completes plans to sell its cable and streaming division. Streaming subscribers grew to 26.3 million globally, up 57% year over year.

On a conference call, Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer said potential buyers are also interested in the company’s film studio, suggesting Amazon’s $8.5 billion purchase of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer has made Lionsgate a more attractive target.

“Our library is newer, fresher than the MGM library,” said Feltheimer.

His comments came as Lionsgate’s revenue fell from $901.2 million to $893.9 million in its most recent fiscal quarter. The company’s losses also increased, rising from $45.4 million to $119 million.

Film segment revenue declined 4% to $278.8 million. However, profits rose 14% to $50.5 million as fewer theatrical releases were screened widely in the quarter, resulting in Lionsgate not spending as much on marketing. Television production revenue increased 12% to $432.3 million compared to $386.1 million in the year-ago quarter, while segment profits increased five-fold to $19.6 million.

On the conference call, Feltheimer said the studio had begun production of his prequel The Hunger Games, The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, and addressed John Wick: Chapter Four, another part of the Revenge- and Vengeance franchise, which will hit theaters March 24, 2023. On the television side of its business, Lionsgate has had success with “Ghosts,” “Home Economics,” and “Julia,” Feltheimer said.

The Lionsgate boss even warned when he positioned Lionsgate as an attractive acquisition target.

“We recognize the headwinds in today’s business environment,” he said. “Economic uncertainty makes it more difficult to forecast our business. The pandemic is lasting longer than expected and continues to generate costs. There are growing pains in the streaming world and the pains of old age in the legacy linear businesses. In response, we’re taking steps to conserve capital, keep our balance sheet strong, streamline operations and mitigate risk while continuing to do what we do best: create great content and franchises that are our most important long-term asset, our world, build class library.” According to Lionsgate boss, the company has a better library than MGM

Charles Jones

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