UPDATE, 2:30 PM: RealD chairman Michael Lewis mentioned more than once during the post-earnings conference Disney’s plans to restart the Star Wars franchise, saying the recent decision to postpone 3D rereleases of Star Wars prequel movies doesn’t bother the company, which relies most on new tentpole product. It also announced new deals for as many as 300 screens with two exhibitors in Russia as part of an international expansion, and hinted that there may be more news about Latin America by next quarter. CFO/COO Drew Skarupa said year-end guidance is now about $10M-$15M less, which the company expects to push into fiscal 2014 when more 3D product comes online.
PREVIOUS, 1:21 PM: The 3D licensor reported its fiscal third-quarter earnings today, marking a loss of $4.2 million, or -8 cents a share, compared with a gain of $2.8 million, or +5 cents, a year ago. The drop comes despite a tax benefit of $2.2 million during the quarter that ended December 31. RealD’s total revenue came in at $46.9 million, a year-over-year dip from $49 million, though licensing was up 7%. Both earnings per share and revenue were about on par with analyst expectations. RealD chairman and CEO Michael Lewis said the domination of 2D films (the top films, Skyfall and Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2, were 2D only) during the quarter put a dent in financials, but he added the current fourth quarter will pick up the pace with titles like the already released The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D and Hansel And Gretel: Witch Hunters followed by the upcoming Escape From Planet Earth (2/14), Jack The Giant Slayer (3/1), Oz: The Great And Powerful (3/8), The Croods (3/22) and GI Joe: Retaliation (3/28). Lewis also touted RealD’s international expansion, the repurchase of 2.3 million shares of common stock during the quarter and a boosted stock-repurchase program, which “underscore our confidence in RealD’s future growth opportunities”. The results came as RealD gained 10 days year-over-year in Q3 owing to shifting quarterly reporting periods.