2:28 pm - Thursday March 29, 3004

AP: What earnings reports reveal about entertainment

Here is a summary of recent earnings reports for selected entertainment companies:

Oct. 24: Netflix Inc. reveals it suffered the biggest customer losses in its history. The company ended September with 23.8 million U.S. subscribers, down about 800,000 from June. Management expects to gain U.S. subscribers in the current quarter, although Netflix didn’t set a specific target. Netflix had triggered a backlash by raising prices as much as 60 percent in the U.S. and bungling an attempt to spin off its DVD-by-mail rental service.

Oct. 25: DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. says its net income fell by half in the third quarter as its early summer release, “Kung Fu Panda 2,” did not haul in as much at the box office as last year’s “Shrek Forever After.”

Oct. 27: Coinstar Inc. says its third-quarter earnings nearly doubled as its Redbox kiosks for renting DVDs attracted movie lovers irked by recent price increases at Netflix’s video subscription service. Redbox also announces it is raising its prices for renting a standard DVD by 20 percent beginning this coming Monday. The new price will be $1.20 per day, instead of the current $1 daily rate.

Tuesday: Sirius XM Radio Inc. says its quarterly earnings jumped 54 percent. The company’s subscriber base grew 7 percent to end the quarter at 21.3 million, as automakers boosted production of new vehicles that included the radios and free trial subscriptions.

Wednesday: Time Warner Inc. says its third-quarter earnings grew sharply, with help from Harry Potter and some hit network shows. July’s “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2″ has made $1.3 billion in ticket sales worldwide so far. The home video release on Nov. 11 will likely be one of the biggest of the year. Time Warner also produces popular shows such as “Big Bang Theory,” ”Mike & Molly” and “Two and a Half Men,” along with the new series “2 Broke Girls” and “Person of Interest.”

Results at Comcast Corp.’s NBC Universal, which owns TV channels and movie studios, were mixed. Revenue from cable TV networks grew 12 percent to $2.1 billion, and revenue from broadcast grew 3 percent to $1.5 billion despite ratings pressure at the NBC network and lower political advertising at local stations. But the movie division saw revenue decrease 8 percent to $1.1 billion. Revenue from the home release of “Bridesmaids” and the international release of “Fast Five” wasn’t enough to offset reduced box office performance compared with last year.

News Corp. saw net income for the latest quarter drop 5 percent from a year ago because of the cost of closing a scandal-wracked tabloid and dropping its takeover bid for British Sky Broadcasting. Revenue grew 7 percent to $7.96 billion, helped by higher fees for pay TV channels like Fox News and the successful movie “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.”

Thursday: Broadcasting company CBS Corp. says net income rose 7 percent, helped by new online streaming deals for its content as advertising revenue held steady.

Coming up:

Nov. 10: Viacom Inc., Walt Disney Co.


Filed in: Business, Finance

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