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Why Lions Gate Entertainment Stock Surged Higher Today

By John Ballard – Nov 5, 2021 at 2:54PM

Key Points

  • Lions Gate reported a 19% increase in revenue for its fiscal second quarter.
  • The most notable improvement was in its television unit, where revenue rose by 70% over the year-ago quarter.
  • Management has increased its content marketing spending to over $3 billion.

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Management is ramping up its content spending as demand for entertainment grows.

What happened

Shares of Lions Gate Entertainment (LGF-A 0.91%) (LGF-B 0.95%) were surging Friday after the media company delivered strong fiscal second-quarter earnings results after the bell on Thursday. As of 1:57 p.m. EDT, its class A shares were up 26.4%, and its class B shares were up by 30%.

For the period, which ended Sept. 30, revenue increased 19% year over year to $887 million, while operating profit was roughly on par with the year-ago quarter at just $29.8 million.

A person relaxing in a chair while watching TV.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

The biggest gains came from the television production unit, where revenue increased by 70% year over year to $336 million. This growth was driven by the launch of six new television series and three for other platforms. 

The streaming business also had a strong quarter. Starz returned to domestic subscriber growth, and it also continues to see strong growth internationally.

Overall, Lions Gate added 1 million new global subscribers last quarter. After nearly reaching 30 million subscribers in fiscal 2021, management sees a path to grow Starz subscriptions to between 50 million to 60 million over the long term. 

Now what

Among the series that will debut or begin new sessions soon are Power Book 2: Ghost, Outlander, the new Julia Roberts and Sean Penn vehicle Gaslit, and the period drama Serbian Queen. These are part of what management describes as the company's "strongest slate ever," which should continue to drive subscriber growth.

Lions Gate is also well positioned to see a rebound in theatrical releases, as demand for fresh entertainment is stronger than ever. It has several film projects in the pipeline, including John Wick Chapter 4, Borderlands (based on the video game from Take-Two Interactive), Monopoly, Highlander, and The Night Circus, among others. 

Content market spending ramped to over $3 billion this year, so with the stock still well below its 2021 peak, this might be a good buying opportunity for investors who anticipate a comeback for this top entertainment producer.

John Ballard has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Take-Two Interactive. The Motley Fool recommends the following options: long January 2023 $115 calls on Take-Two Interactive. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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