IMAX Earns Its Keep

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IMAX (NYS: IMAX) is screening something good, but it's not as good as the market was expecting.

The company behind super-sized theatrical experiences posted robust second-quarter results this morning. Revenue climbed 23% to $70.6 million, as a 42% surge in film revenue was more than enough to offset a decline in equipment and system sales.

Adjusted earnings tripled to $0.21 a share.


Unfortunately, the market was holding out for a profit of $0.22 a share on $71.6 million in revenue.

It's been a brutal week to miss Wall Street's targets, but the market's taking the report in stride. Shares of IMAX actually opened 2% higher before slipping into negative territory.

Are investors simply used to IMAX delivering underwhelming results? IMAX has now missed Wall Street's profit targets in four of the past five quarters.

No. The market isn't freaking out because it knows that better days are ahead for IMAX. Time Warner's (NYS: TWX) The Dark Knight Rises is going to be huge for the company this quarter. Director Chris Nolan -- an outspoken fan of IMAX -- filmed 70 minutes of the movie's most intense scenes with IMAX cameras to enhance the already super-sized IMAX screenings. Two movies coming out next year -- the sequels to Viacom's (NYS: VIA) Star Trek and Lionsgate's (NYS: LGF) The Hunger Games -- will feature sequences filmed on IMAX cameras. It's the first time that two films are going with IMAX cameras for action scenes in the same year, and this is a trend that will continue to intensify.

Premium cinema is alive and well, and not just because box office receipts are clocking in nicely higher after a disappointing 2011. Shares of IMAX and 3-D outfitter RealD (NYS: RLD) are up 28% and 55% respectively this year through yesterday's close.

Exhibitors both here and especially abroad have been piling on new orders for IMAX. The company closed out the second quarter with a backlog of 280 screens, meatier than the backlog of 261 theaters on order just three months earlier.

It will certainly be nice when IMAX is back to thumping Wall Street's revenue and profit targets on a quarterly basis, but investors are generally pleased with where they see this plot heading.

Feature attraction
I've been a believer in IMAX for years. It's been a market beater both times that I have recommended IMAX as an investment to Rule Breakers newsletter subscribers. As part of the CAPScall initiative for accountability, I've also had a bullish IMAX call on Motley Fool CAPS for some time.

Premium cinema revolutionized the theater business, but there's an even bigger industry revolution taking place outside of the local multiplex. It's time to learn about the three big winners in this new trend before your neighbors figure it out. It's a free report, but like a hot theatrical release it won't be showing forever so check it out now.

The article IMAX Earns Its Keep originally appeared on Fool.com.

Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of IMAX. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz calls them as he sees them. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. Rick is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.

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