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Friday, Jan 27, 2023
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Valleys Earnings Roundup

The past month’s earnings picture in the Valleys presented a portrait of companies whose losses either continued or began to ease, and even showed a few flickers of light at the end of the tunnel as some companies returned to profitability by the close of the first quarter of the calendar year. Among the improved was restaurant operator and franchisor DineEquity Inc., which narrowed its net loss in the fourth quarter when compared to the previous year. The Glendale-based company, owner of the IHOP and Applebee’s brands, said a write down of Applebee’s intangible assets contributed to the quarterly results. DineEquity reported a net loss of $48.2 million, or $2.84 per diluted share, on revenues of $355.2 million for the quarter ending Dec. 31. For the same period in 2008, the company had a net loss of $137.1 million, or $8.15 per diluted share, on revenues of $355.5 million. Same store sales decreased for the quarter and fiscal year at both IHOP and Applebee’s, a reflection of fewer customers and lower average guest checks. Meanwhile, K-Swiss Inc. narrowed its losses, as worldwide revenues for the fourth quarter of 2009 decreased 21.4 percent to $42 million compared with $53.5 million in the prior-year period. Broken down by national and international performance, the company’s domestic revenues decreased 31.8 percent to $18.1 million in the fourth quarter, while international revenues decreased 11.2 percent to $23.9 million. The fortunes of the region’s tech industry were typified by the performance of Vitesse Semiconductor Corp., which narrowed its net loss for the first quarter when compared to a year ago, a result of cost cutting measures, company officials said. The Camarillo-based developer of high performance semiconductors reported a net loss of $33.9 million, or $0.10 per diluted share, on revenues of $41.7 million for the quarter ending Dec. 31. For the same period the previous year, Vitesse had a net loss of $190 million, or $0.84 per diluted share, on revenues of $49.8 million. The first quarter results included a $21.6 million related to debt restructuring completed in October. On the dot-com front, online marketing service provider ValueClick Inc. fell short of having its revenues meet guidance expectations for the fourth quarter. Still, the Westlake Village-based firm showed marked improvement in the quarter when compared to a year ago with net income of $15.5 million, or $0.18 per diluted share, on revenues of $110.4 million. For the same period in 2008, the company had a net loss of $251.8 million, or $2.90 per diluted share, on revenues of $110 million. The company had issued a guidance of revenues for the fourth quarter between $128 million and $138 million. Those guidance figures, however, did not take into account the sale of the Web Clients business for $45 million, which was included as a discontinued operation for 2009. Media continued to stay in a holding pattern for the most part, with some segments proving to be noteworthy exceptions. Case in point, television, which was a bright spot for The Walt Disney Co. in Q1. In fact, cable and broadcasting networks were the only Disney business segments to show an improvement in revenues for the first quarter when compared to a year ago. The Burbank-based entertainment and media conglomerate had flat growth in parks and resorts and filmed entertainment and a drop in revenues for consumer products and interactive media. Overall, Disney reported a net income of $844 million, or $0.44 per diluted share, on revenues of $9.7 billion for the quarter ending Jan. 2. For the same period in 2008, the company had a net income of $851 million, or $0.45 per diluted share, on revenues of $9.6 billion. Media networks revenues increased by 7 percent to $4.2 billion for the quarter on higher subscription rates and licensing fees. Consumer product revenues dropped by 3 percent to $746 million, while Interactive Media, which includes video games and online sites, fell by 29 percent to $221 million. During the quarter the company incurred $66 million in restructuring charges related to severance and other costs; and $39 million in write-offs for abandoned film projects. But for some niche-market media concerns, there were few if any bright spots. Net income dropped by 71 percent at Crown Media Holdings in the fourth quarter when compared with the previous year. The Studio City-based owner and operator of the Hallmark Channel and the Hallmark Movie Channel had net income of $373,000, or $0.00 per diluted share, on revenues of $77.6 million for the quarter ending Dec. 31. For the same period in 2008, Crown reported net income of $1.3 million, or $0.01 per diluted share, on revenues of $75.2 million. At the same time, DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc., played it cool, with no new feature film releases during the fourth quarter, 2009, the company’s most recent reporting period. The studio relied on DVD sales, cable sales, and television specials and series to drive its fourth quarter financial results. The Glendale-based studio reported net income of $43.6 million or $0.50 per diluted share, on revenues of $194.2 million for the quarter ending Dec. 31. For the same period in 2008, the company had net income of $51.6 million, or $0.58 per diluted share, on revenues of $199.8 million. Having released only one feature in 2009 – “Monsters vs. Aliens” – DreamWorks Animation is coming out of the gate much stronger in 2010 with an unprecedented three films, starting with “How to Train Your Dragon” in March, followed by the summer release of the latest installment of the “Shrek” franchise, and concluding with “Megamind” in November. All three films will be released in the 3D format. On the opposite end of the spectrum, net losses widened for Image Entertainment Inc. in the third quarter as sales continued to drop for DVDs and Blu-ray discs. The company is currently wrapping up its fourth quarter for 2009. A significant loss notwithstanding, Image’s digital distribution business was the one bright spot for the Chatsworth-based home-entertainment programming producer and distributor. But the bigger story for Image Entertainment was that it faced financial difficulties the past year, but escaped possible bankruptcy after new ownership stepped in. For the quarter ending Dec. 31, the company reported a net loss of $2.1 million, or $0.09 per diluted share, on revenues of $25.1 million. For the same period a year ago Image had a net loss of $304,000, or $0.01 per diluted share, on revenues of $39.2 million. Digital distribution, however, showed positive growth for the third quarter with revenues of $1.3 million, an increase of 34.3 percent over the same period a year ago. Camarillo-based Salem Communications is another media company whose most recent earnings statement revealed industry turbulence. Despite shedding money-losing properties, such as radio stations in Milwaukee, and its CCM magazine title, the conservative media company continued to post losses in 2009. In fact, Salem posted a net loss of $1.6 million, or $0.07 per diluted share on revenues of $51 million for quarter ended Dec. 31, 2009. For the same period in 2008, the company had a net loss of $30.6 million, or $1.29 per diluted share, on revenues of $55 million. Even solidly ‘brick-and-mortar’ companies saw losses continue during their most recent reporting periods. PS Business Parks, Inc. reported net income of$9.9 million, or $0.40 per diluted share, on revenues of $67.7 million for the period ended Dec. 31, 2009. This is compared to $9.5 million, or $0.46 per diluted share, on revenues of $71.0 million for the same period in 2008. Aerospace suffered losses as well. Monrovia-based aircraft and energy systems manufacturer, AeroVironment, which has a facility in Simi Valley, reported a net income of $4.5 million, or $0.21 per diluted share, on revenues of $52.2 million for the third quarter ending Jan. 31. That is a 24 percent decrease from the same period in 2008 when the company reported net income of $6 million, or $0.28 per diluted share, on revenues of $48.5 million. Yet even with drops in revenue, some companies declared shareholder dividends. The Ryland Group, Inc. said it would be doling out first-quarter dividends of three cents per share, payable April 30 to common stock shareholders of record as of April 15. Headquartered in Calabasas, Ryland is one of the nation’s largest homebuilders and a mortgage-finance company. Zenith National Insurance Corp., which has its headquarters in Woodland Hills, and which was recently purchased by a Canadian holding company, declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of fifty cents per share payable May 14 to stockholders of record at the close of business on April 30.

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