Things are gradually getting better at IMAX
The amount in question is relatively petty: a total of $2.5 million over the past six years. However, the company can't sign off on its latest quarter until it gets its revenue recognition practices of the past in order. It expects to complete the report by the end of the month.
This doesn't mean IMAX is leaving investors empty-handed this morning. The company did announce that it had completed seven new installations during the period. That's a relief. It may be only half the number recorded in the fourth quarter of 2005, but it also comes after a disastrous showing in September that found IMAX lacking a single recorded installation.
New systems are important for IMAX because they account for a majority of the company's revenue. A bigger base will also find IMAX scaling closer to the point where higher-margin film revenue commands a thicker slice of the revenue-mix pie.
IMAX has just more than 280 screens in 40 different countries, but every new screen makes each upcoming release cheaper to remaster on a per-screen basis. The company also signed orders for nine new screens during the period, including a few that will be open before May's release of Sony's
The flawed film star has had a rocky road over the past year. It was at this time last year that the company announced it was putting itself on the bidding block. Things began to deteriorate after the initial buyout buzz. The stock cratered in August when the company declared a lack of adequate offers, along with the start of an informal SEC inquiry that is culminating this month with the likely financial restatement.
IMAX is no longer on the block. 2007 also promises to be a good year for film revenue. 300 scored a record opening weekend for the company last week, and it's got the Spider-Man sequel in two months and Time Warner's
Then we head into 2008, as the company looks to make the transition into digital projection systems. That should be another feast for IMAX, but it will be a costly migration process. At that point, a strategic partner -- if not an outright buyout -- may make sense. Hopefully the company will be performing so well by then that the offers will be anything but inadequate.
Screen these other IMAX feature presentations:
- IMAX had a horrible third-quarter report.
- It began 2007 with a laundry list of challenges.
- The $3.6 million in ticket sales generated by 300 this past weekend bodes well for the company.
IMAX has been recommended to Motley Fool Rule Breakers newsletter service subscribers. No, it hasn't panned out that well, but the average newsletter pick is still beating the market. If you want to see what the winning picks are, take a free 30-day trial of the newsletter today.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a movie buff, but he does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. Time Warner is a Stock Advisor selection. The Fool has a disclosure policy.