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Lions Gate previews positive earnings news as Icahn takeover bid looms

April 29, 2010 |  9:16 am

Just one day before shareholders must decide whether to take advantage of Carl Icahn's hostile $7-per-share offer to take over the company, Lions Gate Entertainment shared some good financial news ahead of schedule.

The Santa Monica studio behind the Tyler Perry movies and "Mad Men" said Thursday morning that its adjusted EBITDA, or earnings before certain expenses, for the fiscal year ended March 31 was more than $115 million. That's significantly higher than the $75 million-plus it had told investors to expect in February.

In a statement, chief executive Jon Feltheimer also said that while Lions Gate was not cash-flow positive in the last fiscal year, he continues to expect that that it will be for its current fiscal year and for the following three.

Lions Gate will report full results for the fiscal year ended March 31 on June 1. However, the company undoubtedly wants to give as much good news as possible to investors now to bolster its case that they shouldn't accept the hostile tender offer by Icahn, who has said he wants to replace current management. The activist investor's bid expires Friday at 5 p.m. Pacific time.

Lions Gate stock was up just 0.3% on the news, trading midday at $6.92.

-- Ben Fritz