Coinstar 4Q Profit Trumps Street, Shares Soar

By FOXBusiness

Coinstar (NASDAQ:CSTR), which announced a new movie streaming business with Verizon (NYSE:VZ) on Monday, revealed a fourth-quarter profit that topped by far Wall Street expectations, extending its gains after hours.

Shares of Coinstar were halted shortly after the bell but have since resumed trading, jumping 12% to $56.75 as of 4:30 PM EST.

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The company, whose Redbox unit teamed up with Verizon in a joint venture that will provide movie streaming services in direct competition with Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), also announced a $100 million deal to buy assets from NCR Corp., a self-service DVD kiosk business similar to Redbox.

That NCR deal is slated to close by the third quarter of this year, pending customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. Coinstar said it will acquire DVD inventory and intellectual property, among other assets, and will likely record the transaction as a “business combination.”

Coinstar will buy at least $25 million worth of additional goods and services from NCR as part of the deal.

“The strength of our core businesses provides a solid foundation that enables us to focus on key growth initiatives in 2012, including our joint venture with Verizon that was announced earlier today,” Coinstar CEO Paul Davis said in a statement.

"We also are very pleased to announce the acquisition of the assets of NCR's DVD business and the opportunity to work with NCR as we develop our portfolio of innovative, self-service concepts.," he said.

The Bellevue, Wash.-based company reported fourth-quarter net income of $31.5 million, or $1.04 a share, compared with a year-earlier $11.7 million, or 38 cents.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned a dollar a share, ahead of average analyst estimates of 64 cents in a Thomson Reuters poll.

Revenue for the three-month period was up 33.2% to $520.5 million, beating the Street’s view of $498 million.

The gains were led by a near 40% jump to $445.6 million in sales from Redbox, a reflection of new kiosk locations, strong performance of new release titles and customer acceptance of a price increase it implemented at the end of October.

Coin revenue, a service that changes coins into dollars for customers, saw sales climb 4.8% to $74.4 million.

As the company looks deeper into 2012, it sees earnings in the range of $3.80 to $4.30 a share on sales between $2.075 billion and $2.25 billion. Analysts on average are predicting a full-year profit of $3.86 on revenue of $2.17 billion.

For the current quarter, it forecasts earnings between 76 cents and 91 cents and revenue of $530 million to $555 million. Wall Street projects 86 cents on $514.5 million.

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