MCA Profits Drop 35% in Year; Movies Blamed

MCA Inc. on Tuesday reported a 35% decline in net income for 1984, despite record revenue. The Universal City-based company blamed the "very disappointing results" of its motion picture releases for the earnings decline.

For the fourth quarter ended last Dec. 31, MCA reported net income of $18.58 million, down 25% from the same period the year before. The filmed entertainment division posted an operating loss of $2.8 million "because of substantial write-downs of theatrical releases, including 'The River,' " the company said.

MCA reported fourth-quarter revenue of $496.95 million, up 26% from last year, while revenue for the full year rose 4% to $1.65 billion.

Alan Kassan, a securities analyst with First Manhattan Co. in New York, estimated that MCA wrote down about $30 million on unsuccessful films, citing "Dune" and "The Wild Life" as money losers, in addition to "The River."

Harold Haas, MCA's chief financial officer, declined to identify the other films included in the write-down, and he declined to specify the sum.

For the year, the filmed entertainment division reported an operating profit of $61.59 million, down 62% from 1983, when MCA reaped high profits from its box-office hit "E. T., the Extra-Terrestrial."

The records and music division reported operating income of $8.84 million for the year, compared to an operating loss of $7.97 million in 1983. For the fourth quarter, the unit posted an operating profit of $3.77 million, compared to $760,000 in the same period a year earlier.

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