×

Lionsgate Stock Hits Another Record High

Wall Street stays bullish on young-adult franchises

Wall Street has stayed bullish on Lionsgate as the stock hit another all-time high on optimism over its young-adult film franchises.

The stock soared 77¢, or 3.3%, to $24.71 in trading Wednesday following a 23¢ hike on Tuesday in the wake of an aggressive price target hike by analyst Matthew Harrigan of Wunderlich Securities to $28 from $23.

Harrigan cited “rave” exhibitor reviews for its Cinemacon presentation, especially for “Ender’s Game” and “The Hunger Games : Catching Fire” trailer debut. “Ender’s Game” debuts Nov. 1 and “Catching Fire,” with Jennifer Lawrence reprising her role as Katniss Everdeen, opens three weeks later.

He also labeled Lionsgate a TV innovator beyond “Mad Men” and “Anger Management” with its “Orange is the New Black” series in queue for Netflix.

Harrigan said he expects “Catching Fire” to gross $371.3 million domestically, nearly matching the $408 million domestic cume for “The Hunger Games.” He added that international performance should improve markedly over “The Hunger Games,” which grossed $283 million outside the U.S.

“Although ‘Catching Fire’ is not likely to achieve the last ‘Twilight’s’ 64.8% overall foreign contribution to global box office, better overseas marketing with a strong reception last year during discussions at festivals have already bolstered presales,” Harrigan added.

Popular on Variety

“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2” grossed $292 million domestically and $537 million internationally.

The analyst also cited Lionsgate’s “sustainable” production economics and library growth from “Twilight,” “The Hunger Games” and streaming as factors in raising his price target.

Alexia Quadrani at JP Morgan raised her price target last week to $26 a share from $22, citing the slates plus the studio’s efforts to strengthen its capital structure.

“Shares have nicely outperformed the market, up 36% year to date, and we believe more upside is likely, especially on higher estimates as we approach numerous positive catalysts that we believe will demonstrate the breadth of LGF’s TV and film slate and the company’s improved financial position,” she wrote.

The stock is now trading at more than triple its price of $7 a share in late August 2011, when the company bought out Carl Icahn’s 33% stake for $309 million. Lionsgate stock 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 cash flow of $87.2 million for its third quarter ended Dec. 31.

The stock has reached more than a dozen record-high closes so far this year. The stock ran up to $23.92 on March 27 after CBS purchased a 50% stake in the TV Guide Network cabler and TVGuide.com, a deal that leaves the Eye partnering with Lionsgate in the assets.

More Film

  • Jumbo

    'Jumbo': Film Review

    Tall, dark and handsome? The crush that Noémie Merlant’s character, Jeanne, explores in “Jumbo” is one out of three: a 25-foot-tall carnival ride who seduces the amusement park janitor as she spit-cleans his bulbs. During the night shift, Jumbo literally lights up Jeanne’s life, and while he’s not handsome in the traditional sense — especially [...]

  • Ironbark

    'Ironbark': Film Review

    Movie spies typically fall into one of two categories. There are the butterflies — flamboyant secret agents like James Bond or “Atomic Blonde” who behave as conspicuously as possible. And then there are the moth-like kind, who do their best to blend in. The character Benedict Cumberbatch plays in “Ironbark” belongs to the latter variety, [...]

  • Miss Juneteenth review

    'Miss Juneteenth': Film Review

    “Miss Juneteenth” richly captures the slow pace of ebbing small-town Texas life, even if you might wish there were a bit more narrative momentum to pick up the slack in writer-director Channing Godfrey Peoples’ first feature. She’s got a very relatable heroine in Nicole Beharie’s Turquoise, an erstwhile local beauty queen whose crown proved the [...]

  • Never Rarely Sometimes Always

    'Never Rarely Sometimes Always': Film Review

    The basic plot of “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” is easy enough to describe. A 17-year-old girl named Autumn (Sidney Flanigan) winds up pregnant in a small Pennsylvania town. Prevented from seeking an abortion by the state’s parental consent laws, she takes off for New York City with her cousin Skylar (Talia Ryder), where what they’d [...]

  • Kathy Valentine, Belinda Carlisle, Jane Wiedlin,

    The Go-Go's on Sundance Doc: Neither 'America's Sweethearts' Nor 'Drug-Crazed Demons'

    Some people might come to a Go-Go’s documentary wanting a purely fun, bubbly experience, based on the effervescence the group projected at its breakthrough peak in the early ’80s. Others might want a sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll tell-all, if they’re aware of the tensions and bad habits that led the all-female band to [...]

  • 'The Dissident' Review: Powerful Look at

    'The Dissident': Film Review

    It’s become common, if not cliché, for a critic reviewing a documentary about a turbulent real-world event to write something like, “It exerts the power of a true-life thriller!” Well, make no mistake: “The Dissident” does. Directed by Bryan Fogel, who in 2017 made the Oscar-winning “Icarus” (about the Russian doping of Olympic athletes), the [...]

  • Cathy Yan, Chris Messina, Mary Elizabeth

    Margot Robbie, 'Birds of Prey' Co-Stars Justify the Movie’s R-Rating, Violence and Cussing

    Following the success of “Joker” last year, DC Films is continuing its gritty streak with “Birds of Prey,” a slam-bang adventure about Harley Quinn. Though DC Film’s 2016 tentpole “Suicide Squad” took a critical bashing at the time, filmgoers quickly took a liking to Margot Robbie’s portrayal of Harley Quinn. “Birds of Prey” gives the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content