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This Analyst Says Sony Should 'Think About' Acquiring IMAX

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This Analyst Says Sony Should 'Think About' Acquiring IMAX

Sony Corp (NYSE: SNE) announced last week its own branded premium large-format theatrical system with the first screen location set to open April 1-4 during CinemaCon in Las Vegas. Instead of investing in its own new theater business, the company may be better off acquiring IMAX Corp (NYSE: IMAX), according to MKM Partners.

The Analyst

MKM's Eric Handler maintains a Buy rating on IMAX with an unchanged $27 price target.

The Thesis

Handler said in a note that Sony is "a bit late to the market" with the announcement of its own PLF movie auditorium and offers nothing unique or differentiated compared to the multiple competitors, including IMAX. In fact, each system comes with a "relatively steep cost" of more than $1 million so Sony will face an uphill battle in catching up against its peers.

Sony may be better off buying IMAX, which Handler said accounts for a 40 percent market share of all PLF screens at 40 percent. IMAX's technology, unlike Sony, offers a differentiated experience with its proprietary DMR film process and a unique aspect ratio which make the picture look more square than traditional rectangular theater screens.

Meanwhile, Handler said IMAX isn't getting enough credit from investors as the company offers an attractive, multi-revenue stream with high margins. The underappreciated company could realize greater shareholder value through a sale of itself with a price tag of up to $32 per share, which implies a multiple of 14 times 2019 adjusted EBITDA.

Price Action

Shares of IMAX were trading higher by 3.1 percent at $21.58 Wednesday afternoon.

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Latest Ratings for IMAX

DateFirmActionFromTo
Feb 2019DowngradesBuyHold
Oct 2018MaintainsBuyBuy
May 2018MaintainsBuyBuy

View More Analyst Ratings for IMAX
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Posted-In: Eric Handler MKM Partners moviesAnalyst Color Analyst Ratings Best of Benzinga

 

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