Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. on Wednesday said that it had a smaller third-quarter loss as revenue grew 24 percent – and that it could have turned a profit if not for its protracted legal battle with activist investor Carl Icahn.

After the markets closed, the Santa Monica film studio with corporate headquarters in Vancouver reported a net loss of $6.02 million (-4 cents per share), compared with a loss of $65.3 million (-55 cents) a year earlier.

Revenue rose 24 percent to nearly $423 million, mainly on increases in home entertainment, international film and TV revenue, and a slight increase in theatrical revenue.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters on average expected a per-share loss of 2 cents on revenue of nearly $410 million.

"We had a strong … performance in the quarter driven by contributions from our home entertainment, television and international film and TV businesses as well, as our filmed entertainment library, despite a challenging environment for packaged media conversion," said Chief Executive Jon Feltheimer in a statement.

The company said it spent nearly $8 million in legal fees during the quarter to defend itself from Icahn’s hostile takeover bid.

Shares earlier closed up 7 cents, or about 1 percent, to $6.34.

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