Crown Media Holdings reported on Friday higher fourth-quarter profits, citing strength in its advertising pricing and increase in viewership.

The Studio City owner of the Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries reported net income of $51.6 million (14 cents a share) for the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with net income of $26.7 million (7 cents) in the same period a year earlier. Revenue increased 13 percent to $108 million.

One analyst expected net income of 9 cents on revenue of $137 million, according to Thomson Financial Network.

The network’s advertising revenue increased 14 percent to $111 million for the quarter due to the strength of pricing across both channels and higher ratings for Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.

Chief Executive Bill Abbott credited the network’s second scripted series, “When Calls the Heart,” the rebrand of Hallmark Movie Channel to Hallmark Movies & Mysteries and strong holiday ratings as driving growth.

“Looking ahead to 2015, we are focused on building on our programming footprint, further positioning us to achieve great success.” Abbott said in a prepared statement.

For the full year, Crown reported net income of $94.5 million (26 cents a share), compared with $67.7 million (19 cents) in the prior year. Revenue increased 11 percent to $323 million. One analyst on average expected net income of 21 cents on revenue of $418.4 million.

Shares closed up 17 cents, or more than 5 percent, to $3.45 on the Nasdaq.


Warner Bros. Entertainment has led a $24 million financing round in multi-channel video-game network Machinima Inc.

The investment by the Burbank studio builds on an existing partnership with the Los Angeles online network, which has distributed two seasons of “Mortal Kombat: Legacy,” a live-action series produced by Warner Bros. Digital Distribution. It will be releasing an limited animation series “Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles,” from DC Comics and Blue Ribbon Content, a Warner Bros. owned production unit for short-form content.

Contributing to the financing announced Thursday are existing investors MK Capital in Santa Monica, Redpoint Ventures in Los Angeles and Coffin Capital and Ventures in New York. Warner Bros. led an $18 million funding round last year.

Machinima was established in 2000 to promote the creation of animated videos and later expanded into an online multi-channel network.

“With its enormous fan base, Machinima is an important exhibition partner,” said Craig Hunegs, president, business and strategy, Warner Bros. Television Group, in a prepared statement.


IPC Healthcare Inc. narrowly beat analyst expectations for the fourth quarter and full year.

The North Hollywood company, which provides doctors to hospitals and nursing homes, reported fourth-quarter adjusted net income of $10.1 million (57 cents a share) for the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared to net income of $9.7 million (56 cents) for the same quarter a year ago. Revenue grew 11 percent to $179 million.

Analysts on average expected net income of 55 cents on revenue of $179 million, according to Thomson Financial Network.

For the full year, the company reported adjusted net income of $40.4 million ($2.29 a share), compared to $37.9 million ($2.19) for the previous year. Revenue increased nearly 14 percent to $694 million. Analysts on average expected net income of $2.27 a share on revenue of $694 million, according to Thomson Financial Network.

Also, the company announced the acquisition of Capital Internal Medicine LLC, a doctors group in Maryland. IPC estimates Capital will add 67,000 patient visits a year to its business.

The company announced its results after market close Thursday. Shares closed down $1.00, or 2.3 percent to $41.71, in trading Friday on the Nasdaq.