Film Roman draws investors on IDT deal

Phone co. taps into H'wood-based animators

NEWARK, N.J. — Film Roman stock rocketed upward late last week after it was announced that a subsidiary of IDT Corp., a long-distance phone company, will buy a majority stake in the animator of TV toons “The Simpsons” and “King of the Hill.”

Shares of Film Roman rose 25 cents to 33 cents in over-the-counter trading Thursday, then jumped another 12 cents to close at 45 cents Friday — a 15-fold increase since April 1, when the shares closed at 3 cents.

The shares of IDT rose 70 cents to $15.60 Thursday, then climbed to $16.45 on Friday.

Majority stake

IDT Media will pay $900,000 in cash and provide a credit line of about $2.1 million. In exchange, IDT will receive about 10 million shares, or a 51% interest, in the Hollywood-based company, Film Roman said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Thursday.

IDT Media’s purchase of Film Roman adds to the IDT media unit animation-production capabilities, the filing said. IDT Media’s animation-production unit, Digital Production Solutions, is trying to expand the number of programs it animates.

Also Thursday, Film Roman reported its first quarterly profit since 1995, earning $338,450 on sales of $11.7 million. Revenue was down 26% from the year-ago quarter ending March 31.

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