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Strong Home Video Slows MGM Q1 Net Loss

29 Apr, 2004 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Helped by a 58 percent increase in global DVD sales and a 44 percent rise in related home entertainment revenue, film studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer improved its first-quarter performance over last year, though it posted a net loss of $21.3 million, or 9 cents per diluted share, for the first quarter ended March 31.

While overall quarterly revenue increased 17 percent for the company compared to Q1 2003, the first quarter also included a non-cash charge of $7.5 million, or 3 cents per share, due to the company's early election to expense employee stock options.

The Los Angeles-based studio had a net loss of $55.8 million, or 22 cents per diluted share, during the same period last year.

MGM, whose takeover of its home video distribution in France, Germany and Australia helped boost sales, saw quarterly revenue rise 17 percent, to nearly $464 million from $395.2 million last year.

“Spectacular results from our global self-distribution initiative in home entertainment were the primary reason for our strong start in 2004,” said Chris McGurk, vice chairman and COO for MGM.

With more than 10,000 catalog titles and the reported object of acquisition bids from Sony and Time Warner, MGM earlier this week said it would issue a $8 per share dividend totaling $1.9 billion.

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