It's back to the big screen for RealD (NYS: RLD) .
Shares of the multiplex 3-D outfitter opened 14% lower today -- and were down by as much as 23% -- after announcing that a display licensing deal with Samsung isn't going to happen. Posting mixed quarterly results also isn't helping.
RealD had teamed up with Samsung on a licensing agreement that would bring RealD display technology to Samsung panels featured in laptops, desktop monitors, and other LCD displays. RealD was pointing to early 2012 availability for the consumer electronics venture that would make RealD a force outside of the neighborhood movie theater.
Well, Samsung is not pursuing the initiative at the time, leaving RealD to smoke out a new partner for its 3-D display technology.
It's at this point that one can argue that at least RealD has exhibitors in its back pocket, but things aren't as well as expected there either. Revenue climbed 35% to $88 million in the third quarter, but analysts were targeting a 45% top-line surge. Earnings easily beat Wall Street expectations, but it's hard to get excited about margin expansion if the pros overestimated top-line demand.
Investors shouldn't give up on RealD, especially now as it falls into the single digits. Premium cinema specialists RealD and multiplex supersizer IMAX (NYS: IMAX) are thriving overseas. International markets are now accounting for 56% of RealD's gross license revenue.
There will always be concerns that 3-D is a fad. RealD's stock took a hit back in May, just because DreamWorks Animation's (NYS: DWA) Kung Fu Panda 2 wasn't a hit with the 3-D-specs-donning crowd. Television manufacturers that thought consumers would snap up 3-D televisions have suffered through two years of disappointment on the home theater front.
However, exhibitors wouldn't continue ordering IMAX projection systems and RealD 3-D makeovers if theatergoers weren't willing to pay a premium to see more immersive screenings. Today's dive in shares of 3-D is a buying opportunity that's coming right at you.
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