Much to DreamWorks Animation's
The film's strong start helped beef up results in what should have been a lamentable quarter. Oh, the company's second-quarter numbers may not wow you initially. Revenue fell by 37% to $140.8 million. Profits fell to $0.30 a share, compared with last year's $0.60 a share (the company did have a juggernaut last summer in Shrek the Third). Performance is all about exceeding expectations, and Wall Street was looking for a profit of only $0.23 a share on $121.8 million in revenue.
Then again, shareholders have seen this highlight reel before. DreamWorks Animation has now beaten analysts' earnings estimates in each of the past 11 quarters.
Kung Fu Panda led the way, contributing $46.4 million of the quarter's revenue. The film should continue to be an important contributor during this quarter, and then really take off during the fourth quarter after its DVD release come November.
November is also when the company's next film -- Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa -- hits a multiplex near you. This brings us back to the importance of Kung Fu Panda. The company has been on the lookout for a third powerhouse franchise. It can schedule a Shrek and a Madagascar sequel to come out every third year, but it has been looking for that third franchise to give it a slam-dunk sequel every year. It seems to have it here.
Between the success of Kung Fu Panda and Disney's
DreamWorks Animation knows how to play that game. Wall Street, short again for the 11th time, apparently doesn't.
Here are a few panda games to play: