True story: Once upon a time, I was leaving the house on a business trip. No sooner had I left (I later learned) than our cat hopped into bed with my wife, and deposited at her side a dead mouse. Screaming ensued.
Which brings us to investors' reaction to the "present" that Lions Gate's
Now, I understand that the GAAP results looked bad. Since this one was a full-year report, let's focus on Lions Gate's fiscal 2007 numbers. In fiscal 2006, Lions Gate earned $0.25 per share. Swinging from a profit to a $0.62-per-share loss, despite growing revenue nearly 40%, sure wasn't what people were expecting this year. But regardless of what the analysts predicted, Lions Gate delivered on everything it had promised:
- Management said it would book more than $400 million in Q4 revenues. It pulled in $512 million for the quarter and $1.4 billion for the year.
- Management promised to generate at least $110 million in free cash flow for the year. It produced $137 million.
Those facts tell me two things. First, the company is more profitable than I had previously believed. Second, when CEO Jon Feltheimer promises to deliver $1.5 billion in revenue this year, and to turn that into more than $100 million in cash profits, he just might be lowballing the numbers.
I continue to be impressed with the broad-ranging business empire Lions Gate is assembling -- not just in film, but in TV as well, doing shows for Disney's
A free hand
Speaking of hands, this brings us to Lions Gate's latest promise and peril. Last month, Lions Gate joined with Viacom
Will Lions Gate's venture yield the same kind of success that Marvel