Imax Corp. shares reached their highest level in almost 19 months Thursday after the company said that growing international demand for movies shown in its large-screen format helped double fourth-quarter profit.
The shares advanced 4.3 percent to end at $26.27 in New York after trading as high as $26.73, representing the highest intraday level since July 25, 2011, and the biggest move on that basis since October. The Mississauga, Canada-based company had gained 12 percent this year through Wednesday.
Imax, which operates 731 theaters in 53 countries, is benefiting from growing consumer demand for movies such as the James Bond thriller “Skyfall” in its large-screen format. Foreign productions helped lift international sales to 51 percent of the company’s total box-office sales in the quarter, Chief Executive Officer Rich Gelfond said in an interview.
“What we’re trying to do is approach the international market on a country-by-country basis and using local content,” Gelfond said in a phone interview Thursday, after the company released its results.
Net income for the quarter ended Dec. 31 was $12.9 million, or 19 cents a share, compared with $6.3 million, or 9 cents, a year earlier, according to a statement.
Profit excluding some items was 23 cents a share, topping the average analyst estimate of 16 cents, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Sales rose 17 percent to $77.8 million from $66.7 million.
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