“Puss in Boots” gives DreamWorks’ earnings a boost

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DreamWorks Animation SKG

DreamWorks Animation SKG

First-quarter earnings at DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. rose slightly in the first quarter as both revenue and costs increased, the studio announced Wednesday.

Over half of its revenue — or $73.6 million — came from overseas ticket sales of its feature film Puss in Boots and its release on home video in the United States. The film grossed about $554 million at the box office worldwide.

Such other recent films as Kung Fu Panda 2 contributed to revenue as well.

Net income in the three months ending March 31 reached $9.1 million (11 cents per share), just up from $8.8 million (10 cents per share) a year ago.

Revenue jumped 26% to $136.1 million from $108.0 million. Analysts polled by FactSet had predicted earnings of 8 cents per share on $132.3 million in revenue.

Revenue costs rose to $96.5 million from $72 million, while DWA paid $5.1 million in income taxes in the first quarter — up by 38% from the same period last year.

Second-quarter and full-year results for DreamWorks Animation are expected to be driven by Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, which comes to theaters on June 8. The film will complete with Pixar Animation Studio’s Brave.

However, because of the summer Olympics, Madagascar 3 will be released late overseas, DWA chief financial officer Lou Coleman, said during a conference call.

The studio will release the movie in Australia, Italy, Japan, Spain and the Nordic region by the end of this year, and in the United Kingdom and Germany in 2013.

Coleman believes that the delay will affect both the box office and the DVD release for Madagascar 3. Its distributors will spend more on advertising in the second quarter, he added.

TV revenue from Kung Fu Panda 2 and home entertainment revenue for Puss In Boots will also drive results in the second quarter, the company said.

DreamWorks Animation shares closed up 36 cents (2%) Wednesday at $18.46 on the Nasdaq in the regular session. They rose another 64 cents (3.5%) to $19.10 in after-hours trading.

Shares of DWA have dropped by 10% since it announced a sharp fall in profit in its fourth quarter.

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