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 NEW YORK, Dec. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Paramount Communications Inc, (NYSE: PCI) today reported net earnings for the second quarter of fiscal 1994, ended October 31, of $96.8 million, or 80 cents per share. These results compare with net earnings in the comparable quarter last year of $102.4 million, of 86 cents per share.
 Paramount said that fiscal 1994 second quarter results, which were in line with expectations, included record operating income of $132.1 million from publishing operations, compared with $124.5 million in the same quarter last year, with substantial gains in virtually every business unit. In entertainment, operating income declined to $45.3 million, from $53.9 in the same prior-year period, as weak performances of film releases in the quarter more than offset operating income gains from the Company's television programming, television broadcast stations, theme parks and theater operations.
 The Company said it expects motion picture earnings momentum to build as a result of the success of "Wayne's World II," which had an opening weekend box office gross of $13.5 million, as well as from the promising prospects for its 1994 release slate that includes "Intersection," "Beverly Hills Cop III" and "Clear and Present Danger."
 Paramount added that it anticipates further growth in television programming, led by its industry-leading, 21-hours-a-week first-run syndication roster that includes three of the top-ranked series: "Star Trek: The Next Generation," "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" and "Entertainment Tonight," as well as its successful network programming lineup that includes such popular new shows as "Frasier" and "The Mommies," which have received full-season orders. In October, Paramount and BHC Communications, Inc., which is majority owned by Chris-Craft Industries, Inc., announced the formation of a fifth broadcast television network to be launched in January 1995 featuring the debut of a new, hour-long action/adventure series: "Star Trek: Voyager." Since its formation, the Paramount Television Network has added a number of new affiliates, giving it a total to date of 42% of all U.S. television households. In Publishing, the Company said it expects to benefit from the continued strength of its consumer and educational publishing operations, as well as from the addition of Macmillan Publishing, which Paramount agreed to acquire in November. The transaction is expected to close in early 1994.
 Results for the fiscal 1994 second quarter also include net interest and other investment expense of $8.1 million, versus net interest and other investment expense of $400,000 in the same period last year. The increased expense primarily reflected decreases in average cash equivalents as a result of acquisitions and working capital requirements, as well as lower earnings rates on short-term investments. The fiscal 1993 comparable quarter included a charge of $8.8 million, or 7 cents per share, for the redemption of $175 million of 9 3/4% senior debentures due 2016.
 For the first six months of fiscal 1994, Paramount reported net earnings of $217.2 million, or $1.81 per share, compared with net earnings of $216.7 million, or $1.82 per share, in the comparable period last year. Fiscal 1994 first-half results included net interest and other investment expense of $12.7 million, versus net interest and other investment income of $10.3 million in the comparable year-earlier period.
 Revenues for the second quarter and first six months of fiscal 1994 totaled $1.39 billion, and $2.74 billion, respectively. This compares with revenues of $1.20 billion and $2.27 billion for the same respective periods last year.
 Fiscal 1994 second quarter results in publishing, which posted its highest-ever quarterly revenues, included strong operating income contributions from all educational units, including significant profits in elementary and secondary education and record operating income in higher education and educational technology.
 Contributing to educational results were the successful introductions of new Silver Burdett Ginn reading, social studies and religion series in elementary education, and strong sales of Prentice Hall science, language arts and social studies texts in secondary education. Higher education and educational technology results were led, respectively, by increased sales of social science, humanities and education textbooks, and by record revenues generated by Computer Curriculum's integrated learning systems and software.
 Results in consumer publishing, which recorded its highest-ever quarterly totals in operating income and revenues, reflected gains in trade, mass market, international and new media units. Contributing to consumer results were such bestsellers as "See I Told You So" and "The Way Things Ought To Be" by Rush Limbaugh, "Private Parts" by Howard Stern and "Stop The Insanity" by Susan Powter. Gains in the new media division were driven primarily by sales of the audio version of "See I Told You So," and the release of the division's first multimedia software product "The Places Rated Almanac."
 International publishing results were paced by increased sales in all territories, led by Asia, the United Kingdom, Mexico and Australia. Business, technical and professional publishing operations recorded lower operating income in the quarter, resulting largely from lower sales at the Bureau of Business Practice.
 In entertainment, motion picture operations reported a loss for the period as a result of increased feature writedowns, primarily for "Searching For Bobby Fischer," "The Thing Called Love" and "Bopha!," which more than offset the continuing success of "Indecent Proposal" and "Sliver" in international markets and "The Firm" in domestic and overseas markets, as well as sharply higher income from features syndication sales. Home video operations recorded lower operating income for the period.
 Higher results from Paramount's television operations in the quarter stemmed from higher first-run syndication revenues from "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" and "The Maury Povich Show," increased syndication income from "Cheers," and higher profitability of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and "Entertainment Tonight." Gains by the Paramount Stations Group resulted from higher advertising revenues and from the September 1993 acquisition of WKBD-TV in Detroit. Results from USA Networks, the Company's jointly-owned cable operation, declined largely because of increased programming costs and continuing expenses related to the start-up of the Sci-Fi Channel.
 Substantially higher income from Paramount's theater operations reflected strong gains by its wholly-owned Canadian chain, Famous Players, its jointly-owned international circuit, United Cinemas International, and its jointly-held U.S. chain, Cinamerica.
 Fiscal 1994 second quarter gains at Paramount Parks stemmed primarily from the inclusion of results for the entire three-month period by Paramount's Kings Island, which was acquired in October 1992, and from contributions on a wholly-owned basis by Paramount Canada's Wonderland, reflecting the May 1993 acquisition by Paramount of the 80% equity interest in the park it did not already own. In its first full season of operation incorporating Paramount entertainment and publishing themes, Paramount Parks increased total attendance at its five regional parks to more than 12 million. Madison Square Garden posted slightly lower seasonal losses as gains at MSGNetwork, as well as higher food, merchandise and ticket sales stemming from a record number of events at the Arena and The Paramount, more than offset higher operating expenses for the Knicks and the Rangers.
 -0- 12/14/93
 /CONTACT: Carl D. Folta of Paramount, 212-373-8530/

CO: Paramount Communications ST: New York IN: PUB ENT SU: ERN

JG -- NY012 -- 3511 12/14/93 09:12 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 14, 1993

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