Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (NYSE:LGF) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Lions Gate reported better-than-expected first-quarter fiscal 2017 results, wherein both the top and bottom line beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the second straight quarter. Sturdy performance came on the back of a surge in Motion Pictures’ and International revenues. Further, in an effort, to enhance its competitive position, maximize return and build a diversified portfolio, Lions Gate announced the acquisition of media and entertainment company Starz for $4.4 billion. After the completion of the deal, the company expects more than $200 million in annual cash savings. We believe that the addition of Starz will not only help the company become a major player in the TV space but will also help it to recover some of its lost ground in streaming network. On the other hand, the motion picture industry is highly competitive. Hence, Lions Gate has to continually strive to maintain their share of box office receipts.”

Other analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. Argus reissued a buy rating on shares of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. in a research report on Saturday, July 9th. B. Riley reissued a buy rating and set a $34.00 price objective on shares of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. in a research report on Saturday, August 6th. RBC Capital Markets reissued a hold rating and set a $24.00 price objective (up previously from $23.00) on shares of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. in a research report on Friday, August 5th. Piper Jaffray Cos. set a $30.00 price objective on Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Saturday, October 1st. Finally, Jefferies Group reduced their price objective on Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. from $29.00 to $26.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research report on Friday, August 5th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and fifteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $28.31.

Analyst Recommendations for Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (NYSE:LGF)

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (NYSE:LGF) traded down 2.39% during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $18.81. The stock had a trading volume of 1,511,292 shares. Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. has a 12-month low of $16.21 and a 12-month high of $41.41. The stock has a market cap of $2.78 billion, a P/E ratio of 264.93 and a beta of 1.30. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $20.62 and its 200 day moving average price is $20.75.

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (NYSE:LGF) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, August 4th. The company reported $0.19 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.17) by $0.36. The business earned $553.60 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $494.34 million. Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. had a return on equity of 5.81% and a net margin of 0.43%. Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.’s revenue was up 35.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.31 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts predict that Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. will post $0.40 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CEO Jon Feltheimer sold 255,718 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $20.25, for a total value of $5,178,289.50. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director Gordon Crawford bought 50,000 shares of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 9th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $21.70 per share, with a total value of $1,085,000.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 30.40% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Fairpointe Capital LLC raised its position in shares of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. by 34.3% in the second quarter. Fairpointe Capital LLC now owns 5,904,654 shares of the company’s stock worth $119,451,000 after buying an additional 1,507,052 shares during the last quarter. Primecap Management Co. CA bought a new position in shares of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. during the second quarter worth $70,502,000. Neuberger Berman Group LLC raised its position in shares of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. by 10.9% in the second quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 2,567,396 shares of the company’s stock worth $51,938,000 after buying an additional 252,217 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. raised its position in shares of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. by 2.3% in the second quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 2,352,551 shares of the company’s stock worth $47,592,000 after buying an additional 52,253 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Sarbit Advisory Services Inc. raised its position in shares of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. by 52.2% in the second quarter. Sarbit Advisory Services Inc. now owns 1,457,500 shares of the company’s stock worth $29,485,000 after buying an additional 500,000 shares during the last quarter. 95.97% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. is engaged in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, international distribution and sales, branded channel platforms, interactive ventures and games and location-based entertainment. The Company operates through two segments: Motion Pictures and Television Production.

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