Check Out Our New Look

IMAX Q1 Down Due To Box Office Slump

The box office’s poor performance during the first part of the year has impacted IMAX, too. The giant-screen exhibitor reported first-quarter results this morning that saw revenue and earnings down. “The first quarter lacked event films, particularly compared to the phenomenal strength of last year’s Avatar, and our financial results as compared to last year reflect this,” IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond said. Imax reported a net loss for the first quarter of $1 million, or $0.02 per diluted share, down from $26.6 million last year. Revenue slid from $72.8 million a year ago to $45.2 million.

Imax did boost its outlook for theater installations after saying it signed agreements for 101 theater systems during the first quarter. It also announced that it will expand its credit facility to as much as $110 million, extending the maturity to October 2015.

Comments (6)

Discovery Admits Problems At Oprah’s OWN & Planet Green; But Q1 Beats The Street

UPDATE 7:45 AM: Discovery CEO David Zaslav acknowledged this morning that ratings for OWN, the joint venture cable channel with Oprah Winfrey, were “below our expectations” — and that his company will have to spend more than the $215 million it has already invested. “It has been a slower start,” he told analysts in a conference call.” He added that “it’s going to take us a while, and we’re committed to it.” The company didn’t specify how much it would invest saying it will depend on OWN’s ratings. Meanwhile, Zaslav says that he plans to make big changes at Planet Green — the channel about environmentally friendly living. The concept “hasn’t worked out well. It’s underperforming.” Still, he’s upbeat about the upfront ad market as well as prospects to sell programs to services including Netflix and on platforms such as the iPad. “We’re unusual because we own all of our content,” he says. “We view all of those as opportunities.”

PREVIOUS, 5:36 AM: Add Discovery Communications to the list of television companies benefiting from the thawing ad market. The cable network power reports net profits of $305 million in the first quarter, up 76% vs the same period last year,  on revenues of $951 million, up 9%. The revenue increase comes to 12% if you just look at properties on Discovery’s books both years. The earnings represent  74 cents per share. Analysts that follow the company expected … Read More »

Comments (13)

UPDATE: Netflix Still In Deal-Making Mode; Beats Street Expectations for 1st-Q But Stock Price Dips In After-Market Trading

UPDATE: Netflix CEO Reed Hastings in today’s earnings call says the company’s much-ballyhooed deal to license the original TV series House of Cards is merely a test — and a relatively modest one at that. “I don’t know if it’s anything we’d bet the farm on, but we’re willing to try it with a little bit of our budget,” he told Wall Street analysts. He said in a letter to shareholders that Netflix might make “two or three similar, but smaller, deals” to see whether “we can efficiently build a big audience for a well-produced serialized show.” He said, in his note, that the characterization of Netflix as “rerun TV” is “fundamentally correct.”

Hastings told analysts, though, that he was intrigued by the performance of Starz’ Spartacus, which was also available on Netflix. It “opened our eyes” to the possibility that a show might develop a bigger buzz, and more TV viewers, when it runs on the Web as well as conventional TV. Meanwhile, Hastings says that Netflix is “working hard” to offer its streamed content to Android-powered smartphones and tablet computers. “It’s a big priority for us.” As for the competition in Web-delivered video, Hastings says he’s as eager as anyone to see what his rivals have planned. “We really don’t know what Dish (Network) is up to” with its acquisition of Blockbuster,” he adds. “A big market attracts a lot of competition.”

PREVIOUS, 1:30 PM: Netflix continues to strengthen the sense of inevitability that it will become a must-have service for Web users who want to watch professionally produced entertainment. It said Monday that it ended the first quarter with a net profit of $60 million, up 88% vs. the same period last year, on revenues of $719 million, up 46%. That comes to $1.11 in earnings per share. In January the company told investors that revenue could go as high as $717 million while earnings would come in between 90 cents and $1.13 a share. Even though Netflix often beats its own guidance, analysts considered that ambitious: The consensus was $703.6 million and $1.08.

Most underestimated Netflix’s appeal to the fast-growing number of people watching movies and TV shows via broadband. It had 23.6 million global subscribers at the end of March, a gain of 3.6 million so far in 2011 and close to the 23.7 million at the top of the target range it set for itself in January. That makes Netflix the largest subscription entertainment service, surpassing Comcast’s 22.8 million subscribers and Sirius XM’s 20.2 million. Some 22.8 million of Netflix’s customers are in the U.S. Now the company says it expects to have as many as 25.9 global million subscribers at the end of June. It projects second quarter revenues of as much as $798 million, and earnings per share as high as $1.15. Read More »

Comments (9)