What: Shares of Indian language film distributor Eros International (NYSE:ESGC) soared on Tuesday following the company's fiscal second quarter earnings report. At 12:30 PM Tuesday, the stock was up about 13%.
So what: Eros revenue and earnings soared during the quarter. The company reported quarterly revenue of $98.8 million, up 98% year-over-year and about $8 million higher than analyst expectations. Eros released 20 films during the quarter, up from 16 the previous quarter but down from 21 during the same period last year. Eros released three high-budget films during the quarter, up from just one during the same period last year.
Eros reported net income of $11 million or $0.12 per share, up 154.7% year-over-year. This increase in profit was driven by revenue growth as well as an increase in gross margin, which stood at 45.8% during the quarter, up from 40.9% during the same period last year.
Eros CFO Prem Parameswaran commented on the quarter. "While the Audit Committee review is ongoing, our results for the second quarter ended September 30, 2015 clearly show the strong growth in our revenues and profitability. We remain well-funded with just $14.6 million negative free cash flow at the end of September 30, 2015 and we believe that we are on target to become free cash flow positive by the end of this fiscal year, as we have previously projected."
Now what: This report comes about two weeks after the company was accused of vastly overstating its revenue by an author on Seeking Alpha in a series of articles. The stock has been in decline for the past few months, and these articles drove the stock price down further in November.
The company defended its business in an earlier press release, and Eros provided a list of upcoming film releases for fiscal 2017 in its earnings report, something that it hasn't done previously. One claim made by the Seeking Alpha author was that Eros was inflating its film count.
Eros posted solid results with extremely rapid growth, and the company is very close to becoming free cash flow positive. During the past six months, operating cash flow totaled $91.2 million, up more than 100% year-over-year, while capital expenditures, including content costs, were $105.3 million. Investors are clearly pleased with the results, sending the stock higher, but the accusations of fraud are still weighing on the stock.