The stock is down more than 4% in early trading following an earnings report that showed the large-screen theater company — which has been on a roll so far this year — barely missed the Street’s profit expectations. IMAX reported net earnings of $2.6M, up from a $1M loss in the same period last year, on revenues of $55,6M, up 23%. Adjusted earnings came in at 6 cents a share, shy of the 7 cents that analysts expected, although the revenue number beat forecasts for $54.3M. IMAX says that it took a $700,000 charge to install equipment that enables some of its theaters to play digital or analog versions of movies including Warner Bros’ The Dark Knight Rises. Investors have become bullish on IMAX — driving its price up 28.6% in 2012 — as ticket sales recovered from the dismal performance at the beginning of 2011. IMAX’s box office sales in Q1 rose 66% to $19.1M. The company says that’s due in part to a “halo effect” from Paramount’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, and its shift to fanboy films from family ones. Films scheduled for this year include Marvel/Disney’s The Avengers, Sony’s Men In Black 3, Fox’s Prometheus, and Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man. The company installed 26 theater systems in Q1 and struck deals to build 23. That brings its backlog of construction projects to 261. IMAX had 510 theaters in commercial multiplexes, up from 386 a year ago. “2012 is off to a strong start,” CEO Richard Gelfond says. “We are still in the early stages of our international expansion, and our pipeline of new theatre deals remains robust. We believe that the IMAX platform is becoming increasingly important to our business partners and consumers, and we look forward to bringing The IMAX Experience to more and more audiences around the world.”
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.