Shares of IMAX (NYSE:IMAX) are nearing fifty two week highs. It is time to check in on several recent developments and see the progress of the company's five year plan to see whether there is still an opportunity for shares to keep gaining.
Movie Studio Partnerships
IMAX signed a new five picture agreement with Paramount Pictures, a subsidiary of Viacom (NASDAQ:VIA). Among the movies that will be part of the deal are "Transformers 4" and "Interstellar". Both movies will have select scenes shot with IMAX cameras.
This partnership gives IMAX another great deal that will reward it with a lineup of hit films. Last year, the company inked a deal with Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) for 20 movies. That deal included "Jack The Giant Slayer", which was already released in 2013. The deal also includes the newest Superman movie "Man of Steel", which releases June 14th.
Hollywood IMAX Theatre
It's hard to believe that there is not an existing IMAX theatre in Hollywood. That will change soon with the opening of an IMAX theatre at TCL Chinese Theatre. The famous studio that is undergoing a restructure will feature the largest auditorium in IMAX's history.
The placement of this theatre is a big deal for IMAX as the complex is home to over 40 film premieres a year. IMAX can now become a destination for studios to show their movie first. Stars are present at these events and could help sellout IMAX showings and provide additional revenue at this high traffic theatre for IMAX.
Recent International Signings
Several new deals have happened for IMAX that are helping the company in its international expansion:
· Cinepolis - IMAX announced a new five theater partnership with Cinemapolis, the fifth largest movie company in the world. There are already 8 (7 in Mexico, 1 Brazil) IMAX theaters under the Cinepolis brand. Cinepolis has over 2000 screens in six countries and will be one of the key players for IMAX to increase its international expansion in growth markets.
· Cinemas Guzzo-IMAX signed several additional screen commitments from this Montreal company. There is now 10 theaters committed between the two.
Five Year Plan
With the recent announcements of several international deals, it's time to look back at the company's five year plan.
Theater Count Goal
Revenue Goal ($mil)
Year 1 (2013)
Year 2 (2014)
Year 3 (2015)
Year 4 (2016)
Year 5 (2017)
At the end of 2012, IMAX had 598 commercial theaters. The company will easily surpass the 617 mark in 2013 and could actually come closer to 700 by the end of the fiscal year. Analysts on Yahoo Finance are estimating the company will post revenue of $311 million in 2013 and $358 million in 2014. Both of these numbers would be ahead of the five year goals. IMAX's ramped up theater counts and strong release schedule continue to power the way ahead on its five year plan.
The long term goal for the company is to have 1700 IMAX theaters around the world. With strong growth in China, Mexico, and Brazil, the company is well on its way to that goal.
As mentioned above, "Man of Steel" will open on IMAX screens in June. This is one of several big movies being shown on the large destination movie screens. Here is a look at the important movies in 2013:
- "Oblivion" - April 19th
- "Iron Man 3" - May 3rd
- "Star Trek: Into Darkness" - May 15th
- "Man of Steel" - June 14th
- "Pacific Rim" - July 12th
- "300: Rise of an Empire" - August 2nd
- "Catching Fire" - November 22nd
- "The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug" December 13th
"Oblivion" opens on IMAX screens this week and is being praised for its visual effects. The back to back to back lineup of "Iron Man 3", "Star Trek 2" and "Man of Steel" should be huge for IMAX and will hopefully lead to several quarters of earnings beats. "Star Trek 2" will also open on IMAX screens earlier than other movie theaters.
Shares of IMAX are close to fifty two week highs. The company saw its shares trade above the $30 range for three months in 2011. I believe shares will get back to that mark within the year 2013. Going forward, the company has a significant five year plan for international growth and continues to book deals with the biggest blockbuster movies. Don't just watch IMAX on the big screen, watch the company in your portfolio.