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3-D supplier RealD sees real profits in fourth quarter

June 9, 2011 |  4:21 pm

The novelty surrounding 3-D may be fading at the domestic box office, but that's yet to put a dent RealD Inc.'s bottom line.

The Beverly Hills-based 3-D equipment supplier swung to a profit of $4.5 million, or 8 cents a share, in its fourth quarter ended March 25, compared with a loss of $20.9 million during the same period a year ago. Revenues climbed 6% to $58.5 million in the quarter, compared with $55.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2010.Reald-logo

The strong results came in a quarter when box-office attendance in the U.S. and Canada dropped 20% and were much better than analysts expected. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial had projected a loss of 15 cents a share in the quarter.

Much of the growth came from the company's rapid international growth, executives said in a conference call with analysts. International markets generated 56% of gross revenue in the quarter. RealD installed 3,700 3-D screens in the quarter, bringing its total screen count to more than 15,000 worldwide. 

"Our significant increase in RealD-enabled screens, particularly in international markets, will enable a larger audience of moviegoers around the world to enjoy RealD's distrinctive and immersive 3-D visual experience," RealD Chief Executive Michael Lewis said in a statement.

Results were released after markets closed. RealD's share price closed $24.07, up 20 cents, for the day. The company's share price has fallen more than 30% in the last three weeks amid concerns among analysts that 3-D ticket sales from such movies as "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" have been underwhelming. 

But Lewis said such concerns were overblown. "We continue to see a great deal of growth ahead in 3-D cinema,'' he said.

-- Richard Verrier


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