Cable Helps to Drive Gemstar-TV Guide

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A strong performance by Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc.’s cable and satellite segment had a positive impact on its fourth-quarter-2005 and full-year financial numbers.

At TV Guide Channel, advertising revenue rose by some 10% year-over-year, national ratings were up 10% and national primetime ratings in the 18-49 demographic were up 20% versus 2004, the company said.

The company’s interactive-program-guide business revenue was up $21.4 million, or approximately 28%, year-over-year, due in part to new or renewed distribution agreements with Adelphia Communications Corp., Cequel III LLC, Mediacom Communications Corp. and Cox Communications Inc.

As for horse-racing service TVG Network, distribution rose 40% to about 18 million homes and the network’s handle for the full year was up 31% to $397 million.

For the segment as a whole, fourth-quarter revenue rose 8.7% to $69.8 million from $64.3 million in the year-ago quarter, and adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, debt and amortization) was $26.7 million, up $6.4 million from $20.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2004.

For the full year, revenue of $271.8 million -- or 45% of the company's total revenue -- was up 17.7% from $230.9 million in 2004. Adjusted EBITDA for the segment was $108.4 million, up 10.7% from $97.9 million in 2004.

At the company as a whole, full-year revenue slipped to $604.2 million from $676.4 million; net income was $54.8 million, or $0.13 per diluted share, versus a net loss of $94.5 million ($0.22) in 2004; and its operating loss was lowered to $35.7 million from $104.5 million in the prior year.

For the fourth quarter, revenues fell to $129.4 million from $164.8 million; net income was $12.7 million, or $0.03 per diluted share, compared with $1.6 million ($0.00); and loss from continuing operations was $16.8 million, or $0.04 per diluted share, versus $3.8 million ($0.01) in the previous-year period.

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