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What: Shares of larger-than-life theater company IMAX
So what: This is no ordinary deal for a few screens here and a few there. This is for 75 commercial screens for China's largest theater operator, Wanda Cinema Line. Those theaters are 20% of the 373 commercial screens IMAX had in operation at the end of 2010, all announced in one day. Best of all, the deal is a joint venture, meaning IMAX will share in box office revenue, so the deal will add to earnings for years to come.
Now what: IMAX has made some inroads overseas, but this deal shows the commitment IMAX has to growing in emerging markets. When complete, IMAX will have more than 100 theaters in China and becomes a power in the movie industry there. The Founding of a Party: The IMAX Experience is already on the schedule for a Chinese release this year, and more movies will come as the Chinese network grows. IMAX isn't a cheap stock today with a 19.7 P/E ratio, but growth opportunities like this make the price well worth it.
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