×

DreamWorks Animation’s Stock Soars on Sale Talk

Softbank’s $3.4 billion play for DreamWorks Animation has sent the entertainment company’s stock soaring.

Shares of the film and television studio were up more than 20% in pre-market trading and were up 17.44% to $26.26 T 10:20.

Softbank is a Japanese telecommunications and Internet giant with investments in such companies as Sprint, Yahoo Japan and Alibaba. DreamWorks boasts a film library that includes “Kung Fu Panda,” “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Shrek,” as well as investments in the television and digital space through its acquisition of AwesomenessTV and pact with Netflix. It also has made inroads into China through its Oriental DreamWorks joint venture, which is engaged in everything from Internet content to theme parks.

Most analysts think a deal makes strategic sense.

“Unlike other consumer technology platform/distribution companies (Google, Yahoo!, Netflix), which have deliberately chosen to remain open platforms with no ties to any particular content companies, SoftBank’s past bid for Universal Music signals a desire to own content,” wrote Stifel analyst Ben Mogil in a note. “More importantly the bid for Universal Music indicates a stomach for content companies in the midst of large-scale changes in consumption patterns.”

That strong stomach could come in handy. DreamWorks Animation’s stock has undergone ups and downs as it has been battered by a series of costly film flops such as “Rise of the Guardians,” “Turbo” and “Mr. Peabody and Sherman.” Being part of a larger company might help it better withstand the cyclical nature of the film business, analysts said.

“We believe DreamWorks has attempted to find buyers in the past, and a sale would solve the existential question of what to do given a very uneven track record at the box office and a lack of meaningful profitability over the past three years,” wrote Cowen & Co. analyst Doug Creutz in a note to investors.

It’s not clear if DreamWorks Animation will continue to see its share price rise, particularly in light of a report that Softbank may be cooling on a possible purchase. That pushed the Japanese company’s stock down by more than 1%.

More Film

  • Jack Kehoe dead

    Jack Kehoe, 'Serpico' and 'Midnight Run' Actor, Dies at 85

    Jack Kehoe, best known for his roles in the Al Pacino-led crime drama “Serpico” and “Midnight Run,” died on Jan. 10 at a nursing home in Los Angeles. He was 85. The actor suffered a debilitating stroke in 2015, which left him inactive in recent years. Kehoe also appeared in several Academy Award-winning films during [...]

  • The Last Full Measure

    'The Last Full Measure': Film Review

    The story of William Pitsenbarger, a U.S. Air Force Pararescue medic who risked his life in Vietnam to aid his comrades, as well as the decades-later efforts of fellow vets to see him posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, is undeniably moving — which goes a long way toward explaining how Todd Robinson enlisted an [...]

  • The Grand Grandmaster

    Hong Kong and China Box Office to Take Separate Directions at Chinese New Year

    In the more than six months that protest movements have rocked Hong Kong, a whole range of business sectors have become color-coded, as both Beijing-loyal blue elements and yellow pro-democracy forces have weaponized the economy. Companies on the front line include leading bank HSBC, airline Cathay Pacific and even the subway operator MTRC. Effects range [...]

  • Parasite

    'Parasite' Puts Modern Spin on Film's Long History of Haves vs Have-Nots

    Every filmmaker hopes to make a good movie, but sometimes the impact is bigger than expected. Neon’s “Parasite” is one example of a 2019 film hitting a nerve. Writer-director Bong Joon Ho’s film has been praised for its originality and daring shifts in tone. It also has resonance due to its subject matter: the gap [...]

  • 1917 Movie

    How the '1917' Special Effects Makeup Team Created Realistic Dead Bodies

    Prior to working on “1917,” special effects artist Tristan Versluis had designed no more than five or six corpses. But Sam Mendes, director of the WWI drama, which has garnered 10 Oscar nominations, needed Versluis, who picked up one of those noms in the hair and makeup category, to create 30 corpses and dead horses, [...]

  • Olivia Wilde Booksmart BTS

    Olivia Wilde on Her Move From Acting to Directing With 'Booksmart'

    Olivia Wilde began acting in 2004 when she was 20 years old. It never occurred to her that she might also enjoy stepping behind the lens. “I always wanted to make movies and be a part of the moviemaking process,” she tells me. “I always assumed acting was the way in, because for many young [...]

  • Donna Rotunno, Harvey WeinsteinHarvey Weinstein court

    Harvey Weinstein's Defense Focuses on Emails in Bid to Discredit Accusers

    Harvey Weinstein’s defense attorney showed jurors friendly emails between their client and his accusers in an opening statement on Wednesday, arguing that the accusers are trying to “have it both ways.” Attorney Damon Cheronis asked the jury to rely on their “God-given New York City common sense,” and to find that the women had consensual [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content