MGM Earnings: Profits, Revenues Soar Thanks to Bond and Bilbo

The Wrap

James Bond and Bilbo Baggins helped Metro Goldwyn Mayer kick off 2013 on a high note.

Home entertainment and theatrical revenue from "Skyfall" and "The Hobbit" drove net income to $57.4 million for the first three months of the year. That represented a 150.7 percent increase from $23.3 million in the same period last year.

Revenues were $481.7 million; up more than 168.4 percent from $179.5 million in the same quarter in 2012.

"MGM is in a strong position strategically and financially," CEO Gary Barber said on a conference call with shareholders. "Our first quarter was very important for positioning us for a strong 2013."

The company, which emerged from bankruptcy in 2010, is privately held. However, since exiting Chapter 11 protection, it has been publicly releasing its financial results and allowing media to listen to its quarterly conference calls with investors and analysts.

The company has flirted with an initial public offering and Barber said that was still being considered. He noted the company's liquidity and fundamentals were strong, though he declined to provide many specifics about its deliberations

"I can assure you that we are evaluating all of our options in light of what we believe is in the best interest of the company, which includes a possible IPO, but beyond that I cannot comment any further at this time," Barber offered.

Theatrical revenue was $139.5 million for the quarter.

MGM's strong numbers do not include strong box office results from "Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters" and "G.I. Joe: Retaliation," both of which were released in the quarter. MGM does not include those revenues or expenses on its balance sheets because of its accounting policies, the studio said.

MGM also hailed the television exploitation of its film library. It cited the ratings success of the MTV show based on the 1980s comedy "Teen Wolf," which begins its third season in June, and FX's pick-up of "Fargo." The latter is inspired by the Coen Brothers' 1996 film of the same name and has scored a 10 episode initial run on the cable channel.

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