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Lions Gate Says Starz Merger Ahead Of Schedule; Street Awaits More Details On Performance

Lions Gate Says Starz Merger Ahead Of Schedule; Street Awaits More Details On Performance

Lions Gate Entertainment Corporation (NYSE: LGF)reported satisfactory results and indicated that the integration of the merger with Starz Acquisition LLC (NASDAQ: STRZA) was progressing ahead of schedule. The company’s conference call had a positive tone, Wunderlich’s Matthew Harrigan said in a report.

Harrigan maintains a Buy rating on Lions Gate, while mentioning that the price target of $31 would be reassess following the company’s 10-Q filing.

Starz Merger Boosts Results

Lions Gate reported adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization of $84 million and adjusted basic EPS of $0.21, versus consensus estimates of $64.7 million and $0.22, respectively. “As far as the just-reported financials, there was wide divergence in analyst estimates given the inclusion of 23 days of results from Starz,” Harrigan noted.

CEO Jon Feltheimer indicated that the integration of the Starz merger was ahead of schedule, and was coinciding with a revival in box office fortunes with "La La Land. La La Land’s" performance had been strong internationally, crossing $300 million globally in the current week, the analyst stated.

Performance Of Starz

“Starz had a good quarter, including for ratings and expansion of OTT [over the top] services and the Starz app across multiple platforms,” Harrigan wrote. The OTT services have reached close to 1 million customers since the launch in April. “New original series work with Lions Gate TV is intensifying, with STARZ adding three premium series to its development pipeline with more in queue.”

Latest Ratings for LGF

Dec 2016B. Riley FBRInitiates Coverage OnBuy
Nov 2016RBC CapitalUpgradesSector PerformOutperform
Oct 2016Morgan StanleyInitiates Coverage OnOverweight

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