Sustainability Profile: Lionsgate

Lionsgate is a film and television production studio that also owns the STARZ premium-cable network and streaming service. Seventy percent of Lionsgate’s operating profit is generated by the STARZ network with the other 30% coming from motion and television production. STARZ is a leading pay television network and streaming service that focuses on premium content targeted towards women and minority audiences. As of March 31, 2021, STARZ has almost 30 million active subscribers with 16.7 million global streaming subscribers. Cord cutting poses less risk to Lionsgate because 80% of its traditional cable subscribers purchase the STARZ network directly.

The company’s television production division has nearly 90 television shows appearing on 40 different networks. The motion pictures division annually releases about 40 feature films, with 10 to 15 of those films slated for wide global release. The company also owns a proprietary film and television library of over 17,000 titles from Lionsgate, A&E, CBS Films, Trimark, Miramax and others. The company’s television library includes shows like Mad Men, Orange is the New Black and Weeds, while the film library includes titles like John Wick, Hunger Games and Twilight.

During the global pandemic it would have been easy to assume that Lionsgate’s results would suffer, but the company was able to generate almost $800MM in revenue from its film and media library and grow global streaming subscribers by 69%. Lionsgate also remarked that its customers continue to demonstrate their loyalty as the STARZ network experienced its lowest churn ever. These results during a global pandemic that shut down most television and movie production demonstrate the sustainability of the Lionsgate business.

The STARZ network’s focus on women and underrepresented minorities provides the company a competitive advantage as it allows STARZ to be viewed as a complementary offering relative to the largest streaming services that focus more on mainstream audiences. Of the 15 STARZ original programs currently in production, 10 of these shows are led by women and 6 of these 10 women are women of color. The focus on diversity at Lionsgate also extends beyond the screen, as 65% of the showrunners, writers and directors of STARZ programs are women. In partnership with the Anderson School at UCLA, Lionsgate operates an internship program with Howard University that exposes minority students to the entertainment industry with the goal to increase overall inclusion. Lionsgate has also heightened its focus on diversity within their organization, recently hiring a Chief Diversity Officer and establishing a Diversity Leadership Team chaired by the CEO. With this focus on diversity, it should come as no surprise that Lionsgate’s 11-person Board of Directors consists of 4 women and 2 underrepresented minorities.

These efforts around diversity have not gone unnoticed. Lionsgate has been recognized by the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index for three straight years for providing an inclusive work environment, supporting work-life balance and offering flexible work arrangements. The company has also received a perfect score from the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index and is recognized as one of the Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality. By prioritizing diversity and inclusion, Lionsgate has been able to retain a talented workforce and create a competitive advantage.

*****

By Marcus Moore


Important Disclosure Information

Zeo Capital Advisors is a fundamental investment manager with a short-duration credit mutual fund, a sustainable high yield mutual fund and separately managed accounts. Marcus Moore authored this piece and is the Assistant Portfolio Manager and Senior Credit Analyst at Zeo Capital Advisors. For more information contact Zeo directly at 415-875-5604 or visit www.zeo.com.

Past performance is not indicative of future performance. This Company was not selected for performance-based reasons, and was instead selected to emphasize the types of issuers that Zeo Capital Advisors, LLC (“Zeo”) seeks to invest in based on its sustainability mandate.

The methodology for initially preparing a Sustainability Profile for an issuer requires the issue to be among the Sustainable Credit Strategy’s largest holdings as of quarter-end. As of March 31, 2021, Zeo’s clients owned securities issued by this Company. Sustainability Profiles are shared to provide information about the sustainability selection process and may be used even after an issue is no longer one of the largest holdings in the strategy.

Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by Zeo, or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this commentary will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this commentary serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Zeo.

A copy of the Zeo’s current Form ADV Part 2A and Form CRS are available upon request.

The material provided herein has been provided by Zeo Capital Advisors, LLC and is for informational purposes only. Zeo Capital Advisors, LLC serves as investment adviser to one or more mutual funds distributed through Northern Lights Distributors, LLC member FINRA/SIPC. Northern Lights Distributors, LLC and Zeo Capital Advisors, LLC are not affiliated entities.

1283-NLD-06/13/2021

Stay Informed

Receive timely portfolio updates and insights from Zeo.