October 29, 2014 / 8:21 PM / 3 years ago

'Dragon' sequel sends Dreamworks revenue soaring; shares rise

(Reuters) - DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc reported a 17 percent jump in third-quarter revenue, helped by the strong box-office showing of its most recent movie “How to Train Your Dragon 2”.

Cast members (L-R) America Ferrera, Kit Harington, Craig Ferguson, Jay Baruchel, Djimon Hounsou and Gerard Butler during the premiere of "How To Train Your Dragon 2" in Los Angeles, California, June 8, 2014. REUTERS/Gus Ruelas

DreamWorks’ shares rose 6.5 percent in extended trading on Wednesday after the results handily beat analysts’ estimates in spite of the lack of a major movie release in the quarter.

Although the “Dragon” sequel, released on June 13, failed to light up the company’s April-June quarter, box offices worldwide warmed up to it in the third quarter.

“How to Train Your Dragon 2”, a sequel that picks up five years after the protagonist “Hiccup” and his dragon “Toothless” united Vikings and dragons on Berk Island, contributed a little more than half to the studio’s feature film business revenue of $142.4 million.

Going forward, DreamWorks is betting on “Penguins of Madagascar”, due for release in November, to reverse the disappointing performance at the box office of recent movies such as “Mr. Peabody & Sherman.”

“Penguins of Madagascar” is a spin-off of the popular “Madagascar” franchise, featuring four cartoon penguins - Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private - as a team of spies.

The studio, which made the popular “Shrek” and “Kung Fu Panda” series, is aiming to make more sequels as they require less advertisement costs and their international ticket sales often exceed those of their predecessors.

The company’s net income rose to $11.9 million, or 14 cents per share, for the quarter ended Sept. 30, from $10.1 million, or 12 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose to $180.9 million from $154.5 million.

Analysts had expected a profit of 6 cents per share on revenue of $177.4 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

DreamWorks’ shares, which have lost about a third of their value this year, were trading at $24.16 after the bell.

Reporting By Lehar Maan and Anya George Tharakan in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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