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IMAX Signs Deal With JinYi to Expand Footprint in China

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IMAX Corporation (IMAX - Free Report) recently extended its partnership with Guangzhou JinYi Media Corporation, a leading film exhibitor in China, by signing a new 12-theatre agreement.

According to the agreement, IMAX with Laser technology will be upgraded in the top-grossing Beijing Joy City JinYi IMAX and six other IMAX locations in 1st and 2nd tier cities. Also, five IMAX systems will be installed at new locations.

The deal will bring the total count of IMAX screens, including backlogs in China, to 989. As of Sep 30, 2020, the company had 726 theaters operating in Greater China and 258 in backlog, scheduled to be installed by 2028.

Moreover, since the first agreement signed in 2009, JinYi’s affiliated IMAX screens total up to 105, post the recent announcement.

Robust Adoption of IMAX With Laser Aids Prospects

Notably, IMAX with Laser enhances the cinematic experience for moviegoers by providing better resolution and brighter images along with precision audio, using the company’s next-generation laser projection system designed for IMAX theaters.
 

IMAX Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

IMAX Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

IMAX Corporation price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | IMAX Corporation Quote

 

IMAX with Laser system has gained massive traction among global exhibitors like AMC Entertainment Holdings (AMC - Free Report) , CGV Holdings Limited and Cineworld Group since its launch in 2018, which is a major positive.

As of Sep 30, 2020, 150 IMAX with Laser systems have been installed and the company’s backlog included 155 new IMAX with Laser systems and 92 upgrades to IMAX with Laser systems.

Reopening of Theatres Globally Drives Recovery

IMAX's shares have plunged 23.1% year to date compared with the Zacks Film and Television Production and Distribution industry’s decline of 4.5%.

The shutdown of movie theatres worldwide due to the coronavirus-induced social-distancing protocols has adversely impacted the company’s top line so far this year. In the third quarter of 2020, revenues from IMAX DMR slumped 74.2% year over year to $6.9 million due to a 72% year-over-year decline in global box office receipts generated by IMAX DMR films.

However, the return of audiences to the theatres, as major IMAX theatres have started to reopen, sets the company for a rebound. In third-quarter 2020, IMAX reported the reopening of 85% of its theaters in the commercial multiplex network across 57 countries.

Location-wise, 73% of the theaters in Domestic (the United States and Canada) locations, 97% of the theaters in Greater China and 78% of the theaters in Rest of World markets were reopened.

Further, IMAX largely benefits from a solid theatre network and a strong rebound in Asia, particularly China and Japan. While reporting the third-quarter 2020 results, the company stated that the number of audiences returning to its theatres in Asia was consistent with the pre-pandemic levels.

Moreover, in October, the company announced a record-breaking box office collection of $13 million, reflecting 25% growth year over year, in the opening weekend of the National Day Golden Week holiday in China, despite a 75% capacity limitation.

Additionally, IMAX announced a slate agreement to release five current and forthcoming TOHO films in IMAX theaters in Japan. The deal marked the company’s biggest slate deal as of Oct 27, with a film studio outside Hollywood, thereby boosting its international presence.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

IMAX currently has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Some better-ranked stocks in the broader Consumer Discretionary sector are Spectrum Brands Holdings (SPB - Free Report) and Glu Mobile . Both stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 (Strong Buy) Rank stocks here.

Long-term earnings growth rate for Spectrum Brands and Glu Mobile is currently pegged at 18.3% and 15%, respectively.

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