Deals have never done anything for the bottom line. Installations have. Foster said 160 screens in China, meaning they've installed 10 this year....it's almost Q4. So, if you're backlog is 240 screens and you're installing 15 per year right now, should anyone really be impressed? Installation growth above and beyond the 110-125 range may give this stock some reason to move, but "signing" will not. Actually, they haven't for a while! I think we were down on the recent news of 19 theatres signed.
The three years I was referencing are 2012-2014. Revenues, profit and margins are all Flat. ....if not down this year.
Regardless of what money has been spent - even if it's R&D - if that money DOESN'T have a means to materially improve profit margins, then that money has been wasted. Every dollar invested better have a means to IMPROVE your Return on Capital Employed, and nobody in mgmt has made a link for Laser.
For all intents and purposes what you're saying is the Laser has actually hurt margins in the last few years. Where is the inflection point? When will laser help and will laser ever make up for the lost margins of previous years? What is the business model to achieve that? Is IMAX intending on licensing this thing out? It's not just the delivery date of laser that troubles me, it's in essence that the whole point of it has never been justified with basic economics. In fact, we've continued to hear the opposite....costs will be high and it will be uneconomic for some time.
Anyways, I've begun to see the light in recent months and it's not laser bright. Someone rightly pointed out that gelfond has consistently grasped at straws in the past - whether it's moblie systems or something else - and the reason those initiatives have failed is NOT because IMAX pros couldn't make the systems work. Rather, it is because there was no fundamental business case supporting those initatives.
Q3 results are going to be dog awful. That's a lock. Even if Nolan pulls out a blockbuster in q4, it will AT bESt make up for Q3. The next pumping cycle has started. $39'price target by B Riley today.......why exactly, no one knows.
If a single commercial laser unit is rolled out in 2014' as promised, it'll be a miracle. Realistically, it's likely going to take 5 years to get units on 50' ok, 100 screens, going".....and what would that do to margins anyways? Likely nothing, 1 in 10 screens,or fewer will have laser at buildout of the planned technology. My hope is they start rolling out hundreds od these IMaX home theatres by the end of 2015 and have a new growth model on their hands.
I may hold on for the hype of Avitar 2 for another couple of years, but if Cameron iand cohorts are smart, theyll find some partners or join forces with FOX to take this out for $3billion.....milk Avatr with it, with exclusive IMAX shows and sell it off to a PE firm when the milking is done. Maybe a FOX-Disney co-purchase. Who knows. The Brand is truly worth something, but is underutilized by rich gelt and crew.
However the current business model, even with laser, has nearly reached its run here.
I am shorting management, long on the stock. Have been a shareholder since 2009.
My frustration has caused me to sell about 70% of my position in the last 6 months.
2015 and 2016 may be great, but we've always maintained that it's unfair to treat this stock based on the ups and downs of movie slates. If that holds true, and portfolio theory should win, why have revenues and profits been flat for 3 years? Chinese expansion is clearly lowering margins and the North American market is fizzling. The only saving grace isn't even laser for me...after all, it only applies to 50-ish screens. It's $250K home theatre systems in Asia and China. And the handful of directors that love the format, they're great, but they just can't fill out a 25 film slate every year. They simply can't. Not even Cameron, Nolan and Curion are enough. Expansion means nothing if the HBO effect never materializes.
Furthermore, Gelffy basically lowered expectations on when laser would be rolled out. He acknowledged that they we supposed to hit the market in DEc, but then he said they just had a prototype and were not close to production/commercial versions and then he said, it'll ready when it's ready.. He actually lowered the bar. My take-away was absolutely the opposite, ekave36.
That's basically 6 people per theatre per screening. Ok, maybe 7. Imax was essentially shut down in North America this weekend.
So, ads in a measly 50 theatres? "You are watching a digital projection on liemax, but come back later to watch another movie (and maybe the last ever true Imax Hollywood film) on true imax when you'll pay exactly the same price as what you just did."
Laser is coming, though....wink wink.
6 new theatres in the backlog and MLB will not add any meaningful revenue or profit.....I fail to see any low volume price action is connected to anything that's been recently reported. I pulled out 70% of my Imax shares starting at the end of q2 at around the same price as today........the stock I parked my money in is up 50%.....I picking literally any stock over the last 3 years would've earned a similar result.....like I said before, dead money this summer and price will pick up in sept in anticipation of Interstellar....that part of your argument is the only one I buy. Q4 will be stellar.
Check out the digital trends article titled Underwhelming, overpriced: IMAX screens get smaller, prices stay the same. It's essentially about how the brand is being savagely diluted with a product that goes against everything the brand recognition is built on......IMage Maximum.
Installations matter. Deals don't. The market has spoken on that front....and it's logical.
What's even more logical is what IAM said. Though installs are adding up to increased profits (fo directors), for the investor, installs are not adding up to increased profits.
Imagine you "grow" your company from 200 to 1000 employees, but your net profits don't change, meaning your margins go down. Was that a wise way to invest your time, effort and capital?
Technically, it'd be better in a bond paying 1%.
And though IMAX does pay handsome dividends (to Directors), the investment thesis with the bottom line performance reported over the last 3 years isnt' compelling for shareholders, who don't get any dividends.
No HBO. No grow.
The analyst has a -7.2% average return when recommending IMAX, and is ranked #2612 out of 3243 analysts.
20th Percentile! NIce!
"Hello friends, my name is Richard Gelfond, CEO of Imax, I would like to bring to your attention a new development that will be coming to this theater in just a few weeks or months, but possibly years....ok, if ever. We call this "Laser@Imax". Though we can't tell you when it'll be here or if it'll ever be relevant to the screen you're viewing this on right now, I can tell you that someone at some time and some place will be pretty darn impressed by the viewing experience that our laser systems might produce. For those of you interested in investing in 'my' company, rest assured I will rape and pillage a large portion of your hard-earned capital for my own personal benefits while I talk about heightening your motion picture pleasure....while, on average, I actual degrade the quality of your experience both visually and audibly.
Now, you must be tired of my pudgy, botoxed face. On to the show!"
This announcement provides zero value as it's cryptic and provides no means for the average or educated investor to pinpoint how they might monetize anything from it.
And Brad Richchesler has milked this company of $50M+ since 2009 - simply a member of the board, all pending verification. $50,511,346.69, to be exact.
Look it up.
Also look up that since the end of 2009 (avatar times) approximately 14,000,000 shares of this company have been issued/created out of thin air. At an average price of $20 since that time, do the math......a $280M erosion in shareholder value for the benefit of whom?
There were no issues of debt for equity swaps at this time, so don't go there.
That's a dilution of (14M/54M) 26%.
Just for some perspective, during this same time period, Apple, which has done kinda-OK during this time period went from 893M shares to 925M, a dilution of 4%. FOUR PERCENT!
I guess Apples' kids go to community college, though. No ivy league for them.
My trading outfit provides a no-nonsense view on IMAX managment.
Regardless of us idiots who are married to this stock because we love the product (the 15/70 product, that is), my outfit provides a candid view of this. This is a very good representation of how the average "EDUCATED" investor views IMAX management.
"As of 2013, Gelfond and Wechsler held 2.3% and 0.5% of shares outstanding, respectively. Still, we think the nominal interest is enough to align the interests of Gelfond and Wechsler with shareholders'. We are not fond of the fact that the board is elected on a staggered basis; staggered boards make it more difficult for a company to be acquired, which can limit shareholder value. We also dislike that the company gives golden parachutes to executives and that directors receive a large portion of their compensation in cash rather than shares."
1) Senior management has no skin in the game - Actually, they don't because they sell what they get right away.
2) The board is arranged in a corrupt manner.
3) Sr. Leadership's golden parachutes (meaning, crazy "retirement plans worth 10's of millions for Gelfchsler, and bonus plan upon company acquisition (~$50M for Gelfond)) are unreasonable.
4) Directors of the company reward themselves way too handsomely (in cash), which has no link to company performance. Gelfond alone demands $1M cash/year, which is likely above any single Top tier Fortune 500 company.
I want to remind you, this is an unbiased view of this company from a large investing institution. The translation is mine, but the quoted is not.
No one here biches about the lagging indicator (the stock price), but instead is P.O'd at a CEO and cronies that have consistently over promised and under-delivered. Now nearly 1000 screens and no more profits than 250 or 500....and margins/revenues are eroding.....revenues down in the North America and lower margins in Asia.
In that sense, everyone with an ipod is a producer. To say it's a labour intensive process for digital film conversion is a farce. A dude in China stole it and is doing quite well for himself, you know, other than the useless North American subpeonas....
Ritz, I fully understand what Gelfondle has told us - that iMaX digitally remasters every release. In reality, AT MOST this means they run each flick through an algorithm (which chinaman stole , by the way) and bobs your uncle, you have an image that is likely marginally better than what was provided by the studios, if at all. It's a nice revenue stream, so I don't complain.
I trust and believe everything Doug is saying about what DMRing means from a technical sense. It's not that I don't understand -don't make that mistake - it's that I understand it too well. Trust not what Gelfondle will do.for you, but that Gelfondle will help himself.
People who matter use Blackberries.
All half-joking aside, what you're describing is the value of a brand. It's an aspirational brand that IS within reach of basically ALL North Americans and many other of our global citizens. You don't have to have a superior product to be a superior brand. IMAX has done a good job with its brand and I give little of that credit to Gelfond and most of it to Jim Cameron, Christopher Nolan, Alfonso C., etc AND to the folks that paved the way with world-leading Intellectual Property related to 15/70 formats that systematically drilled into peoples' heads since Childhood that IMAX 'is' the premiere theatre format out there. This brand strength always existed before the time of Gelfondle and the prophets (Cameron, Nolan, Curion) have helped elevate that brand. On the other hand, going digital WITHOUT having differentiated projection systems is diluting this brand. It's leveraged the brand previously created, but will eventually dilute it as well.
When IMAX laser systems come out in 2018 (at this pace), I'd love for theatres to be able to charge a nice premium and allow IMAX shareholders to prosper. But, the quality of laser projection systems must exceed even the 15/70 format or why have we even gone down this road? Because film prints got expensive? That's a lame reason. A reason that no one would want to pay a premium for.