The stock is up about 4% in mid-afternoon trading after Piper Jaffray’s James Marsh raised his price target for Lionsgate this morning by 18.5% to $32 ahead of the studio’s financial report next week for the quarter that ended in March. The analyst says that investors may be impressed by DVD and VOD sales for Twilight, which he figures generated about $150M in revenues for the quarter. In addition The Impossible, a film about the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, “largely slipped under the radar,” grossing just $19M at domestic theaters but $154M overseas. He expects Lionsgate’s TV operation to impress with results from Mad Men, Anger Management, and Nashville. Looking ahead, Marsh says that he’s “comfortable that management will find a way to extend the Twilight franchise” while Hunger Games could could do better than expected “driven by international box office and high margin merchandising opportunities.” On Monday Stifel’s Benjamin Mogil also upped his price target, in his case by 16% to $29. He says Lionsgate is “tracking materially ahead” of its financial guidance.
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