National CineMedia Trims Forecast But Appeases Investors With Dividend Increase

National CineMedia’s 2Q results — basically in line with expectations — and the company’s decision to raise its dividend seemed to balance whatever disappointment investors may have felt about the slight trim executives made in their financial forecast for 2011. The share price for the No. 1 movie advertising and event company was unchanged in after-hours trading after it said that it expects to end the year with as much as $470M in revenue. In May the forecast went as high as $475M. But net income in 2Q of $9M was up 95.6% vs the same period last year on revenues of $114M, up 15%. Earnings at 16 cents a share matched the consensus estimate among analysts who follow the company. They also expected $109.7M in revenue. The company attributes its growth to higher ad rates as well as a 6.4% increase in attendance at theater chains — including AMC, Cinemark, and Regal — that show its ads and features. National CineMedia says that beginning in September its dividend will rise 10% to 22 cents a share. “With the progress we are making to expand our business we look forward to continuing to provide shareholders with a unique combination of growth and current income,” CEO Kurt Hall said. NCM’s stock price has dropped 31.3% in 2011 as investors became concerned about overall movie attendance and prospects for the ad market.

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