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Taxes Take Toll On Crown Media Earnings

Crown Media Holdings announced lower fourth quarter earnings despite a double-digit increase in revenue because of provisions for taxes.

Net income fell to $26.7 million, or 7 cents a share, from $70 million, or 19 cents a share, a year ago because the company made a $17.2 million provision for taxes this quarter versus a $44.8 million tax benefit a year ago. EBITDA was $56.1 million for the quarter, compared to $38.5 million a year ago.

Revenue rose 16% to $118.4 million. Advertising revenue increased 17% to $97.3 million. Programming costs were flat.

“Crown Media experienced strong ratings growth and operating results in the fourth quarter and full year 2013, driven by our strategy to expand and enhance our original programming slates for Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel,” said Bill Abbott, president and CEO of Crown Media Family Networks, in a statement. “We are well positioned at the outset of 2014 to build on the momentum we saw last year and further drive our bottom line.”

During Crown's conference call with analysts and investors, management said it had no new information about the plans of Hallmark Cards, which owns about 90% of the company. A standstill agreement expired at the end of 2013, freeing Hallmark to buy more of Crown.