Lions Gate posts record quarterly revenue after 'Hunger Games' hit

Lions Gate posts record quarterly revenue after 'Hunger Games' hit
Actress Jennifer Lawrence appears in a scene from Lions Gate Entertainment's "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire." (Lions Gate Entertainment)

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. rode its hit film "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" to a record-setting third quarter.

The company reported record quarterly revenue of $839.9 million, up 13% from a year earlier. Lions Gate turned a profit of $88.8 million, up from $37.8 million for the same period a year earlier.

Lions Gate partly attributed the success to "The Hunger Games" sequel, which was released Nov. 22 and has grossed $861 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo.

Lions Gate posted earnings per share of 64 cents, an improvement from a per-share gain of 28 cents a year earlier.

The company beat the expectations of analysts, who had predicted earnings per share of 44 cents, according to Thomson Reuters data.

"Our stellar results in the quarter were attributable to our operating performance, the favorable environment for content and the benefits from our strong balance sheet," Lions Gate Chief Executive Jon Feltheimer said in a statement.

Shares of Lions Gate closed up $1.05 to $31.73 on Thursday.

Lions Gate's fiscal years end March 31, making the quarter ending Dec. 31 the company's third of its 2014 fiscal year.

The company's motion picture business segment posted revenue of $757.6 million -- an increase of 12% over the same quarter a year ago. "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," was a big contributor.  

The picture has grossed 25% more than the first "Hunger Games" film, which came out in March 2012. That film took in $691 million worldwide. The next movies in the series will be released Nov. 21, 2014, and Nov. 20, 2015.

The company's television production segment posted revenue of $82.3 million, an increase of 17% from the same quarter a year ago.