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Imax Earnings, Revenues Top Wall Street Estimates

Imax has reported fourth-quarter earnings and revenues that came in above Wall Street estimates.

In a report issued after the market closed Tuesday, the giant screen exhibitor posted earnings of $1.7 million, or an adjusted 26 cents a share, compared with $4.83 million or 34 cents a share. Revenues declined to $108.9 million from $125.6 million.

Analysts had estimated Imax would post fourth quarter earnings at 24 cents a share on revenues of $102.5 million. Imax also reported fourth-quarter EBITDA of $36.4 million, topping the analyst consensus of $35.6 million.

The results included a $8.4 million one-time charge for exit costs and restructuring charges. Gross box office from Imax’s digitally remastered films declined to $236.7 million in the fourth quarter, which included “Aquaman” and “Venom.” That was down from $278.1 million in the 2017 quarter, which included “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”

The domestic box office for Imax was $82 million, down from $117 million. Greater China box office rose to $69 million, up from $63 million during the same period of 2017.

CEO Richard Gelfond issued a bullish outlook for the current year, noting that attempts to raise the profile of the Imax brand are paying off.

“We believe our achievements last year set the stage for Imax to have a blockbuster year in 2019,” he said. “We further differentiated The IMAX Experience, increased awareness of the Imax brand and tackled key challenges in China, where we delivered our strongest box office year ever and doubled the industry growth rate.”

The Toronto-based company has been exiting ventures such as a TV series investment in Marvel’s “The Inhumans” to focus on its core giant-screen operations.

“The story is quite simple,” he added. “Beginning in 2017 we made a series of strategic decisions to turn around our business. From top to bottom, the evidence is clear in 2018 that these initiatives are working as our growth, margin and return metrics are on solidly positive trend lines. We have confidence each of these trends will continue in 2019 and our margin and return improvement should accelerate as we continue to execute against the initiatives we laid out.”

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