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DreamWorks sinks after slow start for "Turbo"

NEW YORK (AP) -- DreamWorks Animation's shares sank Monday as financial analysts largely panned the early box office take for its latest film, "Turbo."

"Turbo," a movie about a snail that dreams of winning the Indianapolis 500, opened last Wednesday and is expected to bring in $31 million over the five days that make up its opening weekend. Financial analysts had expected the movie to reach between $35 million and $40 million in North America, according to analyst reports.

In a note out Monday, Doug Creutz, an analyst at Cowen & Co., wrote that it appeared unlikely the movie would turn a "significant profit."

Creutz lowered his fiscal 2013 earnings estimate for DreamWorks to 64 cents per share from 72 cents per share and also cut his price target on the stock to $22 from $23.

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. is scheduled to report quarterly earnings on July 31. Creutz wrote that he doubted DreamWorks would take a write-down on "Turbo" when it reports results, "given that much of Turbo's ultimate revenue performance remains in the future."

Tony Wible, an analyst at Janney Montgomery Scott, said Turbo's slow debut was likely a result of a crowded slate of animated movies and a late marketing campaign that failed to "generate enough buzz."

Wible wrote that Janney still expects the movie to reach $150 million in U.S. ticket sales and $319 million worldwide, even though it will likely fall short of these estimates at its current pace.

DreamWorks Animation's stock fell $1.35, or 5.4 percent, to $23.55 in afternoon trading Monday.