If you think that the screens are big at IMAX
OK, so that's not much of a selling point. Then again, when your third-quarter loss from continuing operations widens to $0.19 a share from $0.12 a share, you may as well dig into that popcorn tub as you take in the grandiose.
Like your sums in smaller steps? Feel free to bemoan the 4% drop in revenue to $29.8 million.
A lot of factors are at play here, pulling IMAX's financials in different directions. On the tug down, the company recognized revenue on just five new large-screen system installations during the period. It signed deals for 18 new screens during the quarter, and that's great for the backlog of orders, but it won't help IMAX now. Gross margins deteriorated sharply there, too.
That was partly offset by healthy gains elsewhere, especially an 84% boost in its revenue related to porting Hollywood flicks into IMAX experiences. That's where the gravy is for IMAX, especially now that new installations to third parties are either drying up or becoming part of joint ventures with multiplex operators like Regal
IMAX has teamed up with Sony
These are interesting times at the corner multiplex, even beyond the buzz generated by recent IPOs from Cinemark
That is important because the company has signed revenue-sharing agreements with nine multiplex operators. IMAX needs to cement its status as the premium movie house experience before exhibitors settle for smaller-scale solutions.
Unfortunately, you have to spend money to make money in joint ventures that involve costly system installations. With just $18.2 million in greenbacks, IMAX is its own worst enemy in ramping up its presence.
So forget about big deficits, big screens, or even big accounting problems that have been finally put to rest. What IMAX needs now is a big buyout.
Now that would be a feature presentation worth watching.
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IMAX has been recommended to Motley Fool Rule Breakers newsletter service subscribers. No, it hasn't panned out that well, even though the average pick is still beating the market. Time Warner is a Stock Advisor selection. Check out either newsletter with a free 30-day trial.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a movie buff but 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. The Fool has a disclosure policy.