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Imax profit doubles as box office revenue jumps
(Reuters) - Canada-based movie system maker Imax Corp's (IMX.TO) (IMAX.N) fourth-quarter profit more than doubled, helped by strong box office performances and growth in its theater network.
U.S.-listed shares of the company were up more than 5 percent in premarket trading.
Imax, which makes cameras and projection equipment for its namesake motion picture film format, said gross box office from its digital media remastering business rose to $152 million from $97.6 million a year earlier.
Imax signed contracts for 38 theaters globally during the quarter, up from 26 theaters a year earlier. Backlog of theater systems fell to 276 as of December 31 from 285 at the end of the third quarter.
"Backlog declined in the quarter but (it was) not a surprise given the strong fourth-quarter installation pace, but backlog was ahead of our expectations," Stifel Nicolaus analyst Benjamin Mogil said in a note to clients on Thursday.
The company designs and manufactures theater systems and then sells or leases them to customers under revenue-sharing arrangements. It has more than 730 theaters in 53 countries.
Net income rose to $12.9 million, or 19 cents per share, from $6.3 million, or 9 cents per share, a year earlier.
Revenue rose 17 percent to $77.8 million.
On an adjusted basis, Imax earned 23 cents per share.
Analysts on average expected earnings of 16 cents per share, on a revenue of $74 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Shares of Imax, which has a market value of C$1.71 billion, closed at C$25.62 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Wednesday. The U.S.-listed shares were trading at $26.60 before the bell. They closed at $25.19 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.
(Reporting by Shounak Dasgupta in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das)
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