Cineverse Reports Third Quarter Fiscal Year 2024 Results

Cineverse Corp. (“Cineverse” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: CNVS), a global streaming technology and entertainment company, announced its financial results for the fiscal third quarter ended December 31, 2023 (“Q3 FY 2024”).

Q3 FY 2024 Highlights (all comparisons are to the prior year fiscal quarter ended December 31, 2022): 
Similar to the reported results for last quarter, the Company’s initiatives to reduce operating costs, optimize our streaming channel portfolio and increase margins continued to have a very positive impact on our financial results.  Although revenue, operating profit, and net income decreased due to the impact in last year’s third quarter of the runoff of the Company’s legacy digital cinema business ($7.2 million in revenue, 84% operating margin) (the “Digital Cinema” impact), last year’s theatrical success driven by the horror phenomenon Terrifier 2 ($3.8 million decrease in theatrical revenue) (the “Terrifier 2” impact), and the recognition of losses stemming from the Company’s investment in A Metaverse Company (a $3.0 million non-cash loss) (the “Metaverse” impact), direct operating margins improved significantly to 59% and SG&A expenses decreased markedly by 30%. The Company generated positive adjusted EBITDA of $1.8 million in the quarter. Excluding the $3.0 million non-cash Metaverse impact, net income for the quarter was a positive $0.2 million. Importantly, the Company has also secured the rights to Terrifier 3, which is scheduled for Q3 FY 2025 release, is currently filming, and was recently named by USA Today as one of the top ten most highly anticipated horror films of 2024.

  • Total revenue was $13.3 million versus $27.9 million, reflecting the Digital Cinema and Terrifier 2 impacts, and the impact of our channel portfolio optimization efforts where we have culled lower margin channels, concentrating our resources on higher-return performers.
    • Subscription-based revenues increased 13% to $3.4 million, driven by the continued success of the company’s enthusiast streaming services. Total paid subscribers to our channels grew to 1.4 million, an increase of 30% year-over-year and 11% over the prior quarter.
    • Advertising-based revenues declined 31% to $4.1 million, primarily due to our channel optimization efforts, a non-recurring technical transition with a large FAST platform partner and the continued impact of the current economic climate on the advertising market.
  • The Company’s direct operating expenses decreased to $5.5 million from $14.4 million and direct operating margin increased to 59%, compared to 48%.
  • SG&A expenses decreased $2.7 million, or 30%, primarily driven by a reduction of 34 domestic employment positions, our off-shoring initiative to Cineverse Services India, and tight spending controls.
    • In FY 2024, the Company launched Cineverse Services India (“Cineverse Services”), a new business unit that expands upon the Company’s successful India operations to consolidate Cineverse’s support operations at vastly reduced costs. This is anticipated to help generate as much as $8.0 million in annualized direct operating and SG&A cost reductions when fully implemented. We have already off-shored or identified 29 employment positions that are moving to Cineverse Services.
  • Operating income decreased by $3.0 million to $0.4 million, primarily due to the Digital Cinema and the Terrifier 2 impacts in the prior year.
  • Net loss attributable to common stockholders was $2.9 million, or $(0.22) earnings per share, down from net income of $4.9 million, or $0.55 earnings per share. The quarter’s loss was due to the Metaverse impact, an investment which was originally acquired in a cashless transaction. Excluding the Metaverse impact, net income attributable to common stockholders for the quarter was a positive $0.2 million.
  • Adjusted EBITDA decreased by $3.2 million to $1.8 million, primarily due to the Digital Cinema and the Terrifier 2 impacts.
  • Financial condition overview:
    • Cash and cash equivalents of $5.5 million as of December 31, 2023.
    • Stockholders’ equity was $43.3 million, or $3.27 per outstanding share as of December 31, 2023.
    • Digital content library valued in FY 2024 at $26 million to $30 million in a third-party appraisal, compared to a book value of $2.7 million as of December 31, 2023.
    • The Company expanded its line of revolving line of credit capacity from $5.0 million to $7.5 million.

Operational Developments During the Quarter

  • Announced LightningFAST – a market-defining partnership with streaming technology leader, Amagi, that will enable Video Service Providers to launch and scale FAST channels with minimum effort, for maximum returns. This partnership, which means both a combined product offering, and sales and marketing resources, is expected to expand our Matchpoint offerings into the Enterprise client space.
  • Further expanded MatchpointAI offerings through strategic partnerships with Vionlabs to enable next-generation search via cognitive AI for Matchpoint customers and Cineverse subscribers.
  • Announced a new Cineverse Matchpoint managed services partnership for three channels with major Children’s programmer 9 Story, including the beloved “Barney” and “Garfield” franchises.
  • Expanded our subscription service offerings with the launch of Midnight Pulp on Amazon Prime Channels, Comcast Xfinity and The Roku Channel.
  • Ramped up low-cost content acquisitions, including fan favorite “River,” to boost customer retention and engagement with increased margins.
  • Bloody Disgusting consumer products launched in October, with a branded clothing line being sold in more than 600 Spencer’s Gifts retail locations nationwide.
  • Capitalized on the momentum of Bloody Disgusting Horror Brand, with the expansion of audio business and formation of new publishing imprint, Bloody Press.
  • Welcomed Mary Ann Halford to the Board of Directors.

Operational Developments Subsequent to Quarter-End

  • Launched LightningFAST at CES 2024 – saw significant lead generation and potential revenue generation from event.
  • Debuted FAST channel Dog Whisperer with Cesar Milan FAST channel – featuring every episode of the beloved series – on Amazon Freevee.
  • Premiered Sid & Marty Krofft Channel – featuring 50 years of iconic shows now made available as VOD offering on Roku Channel, Cineverse, Dove Channel and Midnight Pulp. This marks a historic re-release of the remastered library – making the culture-defining shows available on digital platforms for the first time thanks to Cineverse’s proprietary streaming technology, Matchpoint.
  • Expanded existing credit line with East West Bank to $7.5 Million – further strengthening Cineverse’s balance sheet without equity dilution.
  • Announced partnership with Google Cloud to launch cineSearch, a conversational search & discovery (SAND) tool for film and television content, with a public beta coming in Spring 2024.

Management Commentary
Chris McGurk, Cineverse Chairman and CEO, stated, “Continuing the trend from our last reported quarter, we saw significant margin growth this quarter resulting from our initiatives to streamline our cost structure and optimize our streaming channel portfolio. Direct operating margin increased to 59% versus 48% last year and SG&A expenses decreased by $2.7 million or 30%. This was an additional $0.5 million in SG&A reductions versus our last reported quarter. Fiscal year to date, we have reduced SG&A by $7.9 million or 27%.  Additionally, our more than two-dozen enthusiast streaming channels and multiple revenue streams give us the ability to manage our business as a portfolio. This provides us with a unique opportunity to improve our profitability by optimizing our portfolio by eliminating channels that generate lower margin revenues and, instead, focusing resources on higher return channels. Clearly, our cost reduction, channel optimization and other margin improvement efforts are generating significant positive results, and we are far from done in this area as we drive toward our goal of sustainable profitability. In fact, excluding the impact of the non-cash, non-operating loss recognized on our investment in A Metaverse Company, this quarter’s net income was $0.2 million.”

McGurk continued, “Cineverse Services in India, where we are in the process of off-shoring a significant number of domestic positions to a trusted and successful Company-owned operation, will continue to drive further reductions in our operating expenses and sustain these improved margins. This is a unique competitive advantage for Cineverse that we intend to take full advantage of. Already, we have transferred and/or identified 29 employment positions that are moving to Cineverse Services. And, in addition to significant additional cost savings as we move toward our goal of an $8 million annualized reduction in costs, we fully expect that workflows and operational efficiencies will continue to improve significantly as a result of this initiative.”

Erick Opeka, President and Chief Strategy Officer of Cineverse, added, “Our efforts on streamlining continue to pay off. At 59%, our direct operating margins signal that our business model of building deep fan bases in popular verticals and providing scale volumes of relevant, library and low-cost first window content is a model that works. As we have nearly fully optimized our margins on the operating side, we continue to focus reducing our SG&A costs to scale up the bottom line. In the quarter, we continued to leverage both automation and our off-shore services hub, and expect to achieve our profitability goals over the next two quarters.”

Opeka continued, “With strong direct operating margins, rapidly improving net margins and EBITDA, we have built a model that has the potential to profitably scale.  In order to drive topline growth, we will focus on four key areas: leveraging our partnership with Amagi to drive high-margin technology revenues, expanding our distribution of SVOD, AVOD and FAST streaming channels to our vast OEM and tech partner network, expanding licensing our 71,000 title library to those same partners, and growing and driving direct ad sales on our channels and our new ad network. We believe this diversified approach will be the building block for a unique, diversified streaming business with the unique nature of having best-in-class margins and profitability. Finally, the partnership with Google Cloud we just announced for cineSearch, an innovative AI-based streaming movie search platform, underscores the momentum and potential of our technology business. This demonstrates again that Cineverse continues to be at the forefront of the entertainment industry by applying AI technology in a first-to-market, enhanced search feature that enables users to search through a huge volume of films across multiple dimensions and is unavailable on any other platform.”

Conference Call
Cineverse will host a conference call at 4:30 p.m. ET (Wednesday, February 14, 2024), during which management will discuss the results of the fiscal third quarter ended December 31, 2023. To participate in the conference call, please use the following dial-in numbers: 

United States (Local):           +1 404 975 4839
United States (Toll-Free):       +1 833 470 1428
Canada (Toll-Free):               +1 833 950 0062
Access code:                         080162

The conference call can also be accessed by webcast at the Investors section of the Company’s website at https://investor.cineverse.com/events-and-presentations. Those who are unable to attend the live conference call may access the recording at the above webcast link, which will be made available shortly after the conclusion of the call.

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