Shares of Indian film producer and distributor Eros International (NYSE:ESGC) slumped on Friday after the company's fiscal fourth-quarter results fell well short of analyst expectations. A near-20% decline in revenue and an unexpected net loss led the stock to plunge 17% by 12:45 p.m. EDT.
Eros reported fourth-quarter revenue of $52.7 million, down 19% year over year and a staggering $14.7 million below the average analyst estimate. Theatrical revenue tumbled 30.7% to $12.4 million, with fewer film releases due to adverse market conditions driving the decline. Television syndication revenue dropped 16.2% to $22.2 million due to lower new release revenue. Digital and ancillary revenue dropped 13% to $18.1 million.
The company's subscription service, Eros Now, currently sports 2.9 million subscribers, up from 2.1 million at the end of March. The company expects Eros Now to reach 100 million subscribers over the next five years, with 6 million to 8 million expected to be added in fiscal 2018.
Eros posted a net loss of $0.04 per share, down from near-breakeven during the prior-year period and $0.11 shy of analyst expectations. Lower revenue and an increase in operating costs drove the bottom line lower.
Eros Executive Chairman Kishore Lulla talked up the progress of the company's digital strategy: "We have made monumental progress with Eros Now touching almost 3 million paying subscribers, a digital library amounting to over 10,000 titles, with the catalogue worth more than a billion dollars and landmark distribution deals with some of the world's largest brands including Apple, Samsung, Vodafone, Etisalat and Verizon just to name a few."
Despite the growth of the digital platform, the massive revenue and earnings shortfall led investors to push down the stock. Accusations of fraud, which first surfaced in 2015 and have reemerged this year, also may be weighing on the stock.