The Street’s impressed: RealD’s share price is up about 20% in after-market trading. Investors already knew that things were tough for the 3D technology company in the quarter that ended in September. It said early this month that it will lay off about 20% of its staff. Also, last quarter about 57% of the domestic 3D box office came from animated movies which usually have lower-than-average ticket prices. But bad as the business was, it wasn’t as bad as investors expected. The company says it lost $4.66M, 10.2% worse than the period last year, on revenues of $43.9M, -20.1%. The top line was a little better than the $43.0M that analysts expected. But the net loss of 9 cents a share beat the consensus forecast of a 19 cent loss. The number of RealD screens was up 13% from last year to about 24,200, including 13,300 in domestic theaters. And the number of 3D films in the quarter, at 11, was up from last year’s nine. Even so, box office sales at RealD venues fell 17.9% to $582M. The company’s revenues included $31.0M from license fees (-11.4%) and $13M from products (-35.3%). The recent layoffs could result in a charge of as much as $4.9M, the company says, while it may take an additional $0.9M hit from losses on leases for facilities it no longer needs. RealD says it expects to save about $15M a year. It’s also upbeat about recent returns from Warner Bros’ Gravity. That “demonstrates that RealD’s platform can deliver strong results when the combination of a high-quality 3D film, effective 3D marketing and optimum screen availability come together,” CEO Michael Lewis says.
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