×

Imax displays strong 2nd quarter results

Company hopes strong fiscal track record propels sale, merger

TORONTO — Bigscreen and digital film company Imax Corp. announced “very strong” second-quarter results that include a 68% increase in revenue and a 36% increase in net earnings over the second quarter of 1999.

Revenue for the second quarter ended June 20 rose to $57.5 million. The jump was driven by a 70% improvement in revenue from the company’s systems division (the end of the business that leases the bigscreen projectors) plus the addition of $11.3 million from Digital Projection International (DPI), which the company bought in September 1999. Net earnings were $3.0 million, up from $2.2 million a year ago.

“It was a very strong quarter,” said Bill Scovin, managing director of Auerback, Pollak &Richardson of N.Y., who has a “buy” rating on the company.

On the block

The strategic highlight of the quarter is Imax’s putting itself on the block, hiring big-gun investment banks Wasserstein, Perella & Co. and Goldman Sachs & Co. to find a buyer or merger partner. With the company’s solid fiscal track record and string of increasingly mainstream box office forays — “Everest,” “Fantasia 2000” and a deal to release DreamWorks SKG’s animated film “Shrek” in 3D for the bigscreen — Imax should draw decent interest. Disney is said to be among interested parties reviewing briefing books.

But it may not be so quick or easy. “Hollywood is pretty slow on the adoption curve,” Scovin said. “It’s not a group that has to run out and try the newest technology.” Company officials said in a conference call the search for new investors or an outright buyer was going well, but they provided no details.

With Imax’s foray into digital film projection with its purchase of DPI, the company has put itself into two unique high-tech businesses as opposed to one. “The digital projection business is still untested territory,” Scovin said. “A lot of people believe in it — but it has not yet been given the test.”

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • AtmosphereThe Current State of Play in

    New York’s PlayStation Theater to Close (EXCLUSIVE)

    New York’s PlayStation Theater, a 2,100-capacity venue located in Times Square and operated by Bowery Presents, will close at the end of 2019, a source close to the situation tells Variety. The venue will close with a New Year’s series of shows from the Disco Biscuits. The theater, which is located two stories beneath the [...]

  • Courtesy of Earwolf

    How Lauren Lapkus Tossed the Script and Created a Podcasting Hit

    Lauren Lapkus has tossed the script on what makes most podcasts a hit. At a time when many of the most downloaded shows are true crime investigations or celebrity interviews, she’s doing something entirely different on each episode of “With Special Guest Lauren Lapkus.” Each hour-long installment is a free-wheeling, completely improvised ride. One show [...]

  • WWE NXT

    WWE's 'NXT' Moves to USA Network as Wrestling Competition Heats Up

    WWE has struck a deal to move its “NXT” franchise focusing on rising stars to USA Network starting next month. “NXT” will shift to USA from the WWE Network subscription streaming service as of Sept. 18. The deal comes as USA is about to lose WWE’s “SmackDown” showcase to Fox starting in October. USA is [...]

  • Shazam

    Apple Music Launches 'Shazam Discovery' Chart, Focused on New Artists

    Apple Music today launched the “Shazam Discovery Top 50,” a weekly, global ranking of 50 artists that it describes as “on the move and trending” — in other words, new and emerging artists. While the company wouldn’t say much specifically about how the chart is tabulated, it uses “Shazam’s proprietary algorithms [to offer] a unique predictive view [...]

  • The Chainsmokers Production Company

    Chainsmokers’ Catalog Acquired by Fast-Growing Hipgnosis Songs

    The Chainsmokers’ writer and publishing rights have been acquired by the fast-growing Hipgnosis Songs and its investment adviser, The Family (Music) Limited, for an undisclosed amount, the company announced today. The company has acquired 100% of the Chainsmokers’ interest in 32 of the duo’s songs, including ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) income in [...]

  • Hollywood Recession Business Placeholder

    How an Economic Downturn Could Ravage Hollywood

    Trade-war fears, stock market volatility and, most recently, bond market signals that point to a pending recession are rattling investors, igniting concerns that another devastating downturn may be just around the corner. As those worries reverberate all the way from Wall Street to Hollywood, the entertainment industry is in for an unsettling reminder of the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content