Issue hits eighth record high of the year on Thursday

Lionsgate stock has stayed on fire in 2013 as Wall Street remains enthusiastic about the studio’s ability to develop new young-adult franchises.

The issue climbed 32¢, or 1.8%, on Thursday to close at $18.31. It was its eighth record high of the year; the stock has seen a 12% hike so far in 2013 after nearly doubling in value in 2012.

Wall Street analysts have a consensus price target of $19.20. Analyst David Bank of RBC Capital Markets told Variety that investors appear to be gaining confidence in the ability of Lionsgate and its Summit arm to replicate their success with “The Hunger Games” and “Twilight.”

“I think people are getting more excited about the potential for both ‘Enders Game’ and ‘Divergent’ being genuine franchises,” Bank said. “In terms of the immediate catalysts near-term, I am not sure.”

Lionsgate stunned Wall Street in November with quarterly earnings far above estimates, pulled up by “Hunger Games” DVD results. The company announced Thursday that it will release earnings on Feb. 11 for its third quarter ended Dec. 31.

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