Starz 4Q profit rises, aided by subscriber growth

Starz 4th-quarter profit climbs, helped by subscriber growth; revenue declines

Associated Press

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) -- Subscriber growth at Starz helped push fourth-quarter net income up 42 percent.

The company, which was spun off from Liberty Media last year, earned $73.3 million, or 62 cents per share for the period ended Dec. 31. That compares with $51.6 million, or 43 cents per share, a year ago.

Analysts polled by FactSet predicted earnings of 42 cents per share.

Starz subscriptions rose by a million, to 22.2 million, while Encore subscribers increased to 34.9 million from 34.8 million.

Revenue fell 2 percent to $414.7 million from $422.2 million on weakness in its distribution and animation segments.

The company's distribution unit had no significant new releases during the quarter, while the year-ago period included the movie "Lawless" and original series "Magic City." At the animation division, revenue dropped because there were fewer projects in production at the company's Film Roman studio.

Wall Street expected revenue of $428.6 million.

Full-year net income declined to $247.3 million, or $2.04 per share, from $254.5 million, or $2.12 per share, in the previous year.

Annual revenue increased 9 percent to $1.78 billion from $1.63 billion.

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