Imax profits tumble, but fall has cushion

Growth curve expected to return to normal next year

TORONTO — Imax managed to beat analysts’ expectations for its second-quarter earnings, although profits were down significantly from last year.

The large-format film company reported earnings Tuesday of $2.2 million or 7¢ per share for the second quarter ended June 30, down 65% from the same quarter of 1998. The earnings are 1¢ per share better than analysts had expected, however, according to the Wall Street service First Call. Six-month earnings were down 59% from the previous year, at $4.2 million or 14¢ per share.

The company explained in a press release that the nosedive is the result of an “expected decline in theater system deliveries.” Imax has been taking it on the chin the last few quarters as construction slowdowns on a number of new theaters have delayed its ability to recognize revenues. The company has said that its growth curve will return to normal next year.

Revenues for the quarter were down 21% at $34.3 million, and for the six month period were at $71.0 million, 11% below the same period the previous year.

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