Wall Street Stays Bullish On Lionsgate

Wall Street Stays Bullish On Lionsgate

Wall Street has remained bullish on Lionsgate on the eve of the DVD release of the final “Twilight” movie.

Shares surged 68 cents to $21.65 in trading Friday for a gain of more than 3%. It was another all-time high for the issue, which has set more than a dozen record closes this year.

The DVD release of “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2” caps a franchise that’s generated sales of 50 million DVD and Blu-ray copies for the first four films. The final Twilight movie will be released on Blu-ray Disc, 2-disc DVD, Video On Demand and digital download from the Summit label. The Blu-ray and DVD will include hours of bonus materials.

The Saturday street date allows for midnight events at retailers nationwide. Lionsgate has already said that “Breaking Dawn – Part 2,” which has taken in more than $820 million worldwide, will make the “Twilight” saga the top-selling home entertainment franchise since 2009.

The Blu-ray and DVD, which will include a seven-part making-of documentary, carry suggested retail prices of $39.99 and $30.98, respectively. Lionsgate announced last week that “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 Extended Edition” would also be available on March 2.

The stock is now trading at more than triple the price of $7 a share in late August, 2011, when the company bought out Carl Icahn’s 33% stake for $309 million. Lionsgate stock then rose about 20% to $8.60 before it bought Summit Entertainment — originator of the “Twilight” franchise — for $412.5 million in January, 2012.

The company’s most recent earnings report easily topped Wall Street estimates thanks to the final “Twilight” film with earnings of $37.8 million, or 28¢ a share, on revenues of $743.6 million and EBITDA of $87.2 million for its third quarter ended Dec. 31.

Analysts have expressed confidence that Lionsgate will be able to mirror the success of launching more young-adult franchises and cited efforts to leverage its content into digital media initiatives; strengthening Lionsgate’s capital structure, including the recent completion of a new five-year, $800 million revolving credit facility.

Lionsgate has also maintained continuity in management team with several recent deals announced — chief financial officer James Keegan, Michael Burns as vice chair, Wayne Levin as general counsel and chief strategic officer, Brian Goldsmith as co-chief operating officer and Jason Constantine as prexy of acquisitions and co-prod for its motion picture group.

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  1. jen says:

    Let’s say it together….Thank you Twilight!!

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