About a year ago, or maybe a little less, Gelfond said he was considering stock buybacks. He said something to the effect that if Imax were a privately held company the owners would be celebrating. Because it is publicly traded it has to deal with short sellers. Gelond proposed a stock buy back program specifically to give the shorts a bad time. I believe he will do this. As far as the number of Imax theaters there can ultimately be, for sure it is not an infinite number as Iamforstocks points out. Right now there is less than one commercial Imax theater per 10 million world population. (7 billion people and less than 700 commercial Imaxes). The one thing I am sure of is that Gelfond will never turn anyone down who does not require a joint venture and will pay cash. Why should he? As far as the backlog and the status of the theaters on it, I do seem to remember that at one time there was a deal to open theaters in South America, The company was called Racimec and this fell through. It did not happen. Does anyone know of another ANNOUNCED DEAL, not a projection or a wish list that fell through? I cannot think of one.
1) "Right now there is less than one commercial Imax theater per 10 million world population. (7 billion people and less than 700 commercial Imaxes)."
There is also less than one DisneyLand per 10 million people - so what. Both have limits to where they are cost and market and competition justified to deploy. We are 12 years into the focus on penetrating India and six years into the focus on penetrating Europe and two years into the focus on penetrating South America. How are we doing ? Latin America ? Canada ? Australia ? Great Britain ? Russia ? Africa ? The main considerations in market and deployment are not population.
2011: "progress toward igniting network growth in Latin America and Europe."
2012: "Our 2013 objectives are straight forward - continue to expand our footprint worldwide, ..."
Which is part of the reason I look at the backlog, and penetration rate, and install rate to see whether these increasing as projected or decreasing as achieved. I DO hope they do get back on track and achieve the goals they have already set.
2) The title of your thread... Gelfond and buybacks. Yet another test for the relevance of that ... how many times and over what period of time has he said that ? Has he delivered ? What also did he specifically say about his interest in the share price and earnings as opposed to revenues in general - the price affecting you, I or anyone else investing in IMAX long or short ?
For buybacks, the best you can say is that it may or may not happen and whether it does or not is no more or less likely because he says he might - or put more succinctly what he says has no bearing on reality or expectation or likelihood - like random chatter or the clanging of bells.
Dividends or buybacks require the financial performance to support them before and regardless of anything Gelfond says and even in periods where the performance has been good we have seen neither. Gelfond is talking through his ... hat.
Ritzkrakow5 says, "Does anyone know of another ANNOUNCED DEAL, not a projection or a wish list that fell through? I cannot think..."
I think if you're going to go fishing it is best not to scream. Yes i do and yes I do have a response to the question you choose to answer but since it is not the most important question outstanding nor the question you were asked I will wait for that answer before responding (and I may not because I didn't intend to be here even this long, just to see if there was any intelligent discussion into the Q2 report). Answer that question and I will continue the discussion in that direction. Otherwise I prefer the discussion of what they should or will do not what they shouldn't or haven't done.
Another teaser which might help you with some of your speculations. From the introduction of digital to date IMAX has announced 643 installs but their network size has only grown by 468 - why the difference? (this is not a discovery or complaint but simply another item pointing out why the simplistic view of installs and network size and backlog are not only wrong but wrong by 30 or 40 or 50%). Also, this is one of the simplest numbers to analyze and understand. If you don't have the information or time or energy to track this you have no hope at all of tracking backlog decay.
So again, now armed with even more hints and information...
"Please demonstrate that IMAX IS achieving a better rate of deployment and decrease in the long term backlog than has been stated."
Are you speaking only domestic or international when you quote announced installs and network size? Is it possible the network size and install number is a confusion with domestic and worldwide? Also, they probably count conversion of the existing MPX film locations to digital as installations which they technically are, just not new installations. Corporations spinning information to look better is annoying but not at all uncommon and in politics spun information is often the basis for legislation. Appreciate you pointing the discrepancy out but you speak about management with the apparent view that their behaviour is outright evil. I follow IMAX extremely closely and have for over a decade and despite the frustration with management's constant shedding of their shares (which is their right) they have executed a very difficult business plan incredibly well. Just listen to comments made by the CEO of AMC recently and it is obvious that IMAX has put themselves in a very powerful position within the world of Cinema. In my opinion, if their Laser initiative is a home run they will lead us into the future of Cinema. If that is, in fact, the case all the IMAX longs on this board will be rewarded with a share price that is a multiple of it's current level by 2015. We will see.