DreamWorks Animation Shares Hit Speed Bump After Weak ‘Turbo’ Opening
Jeff Katzenberg: ‘Turbo’ Will Be Profitable
The stock is down 7% midday as investors try to determine how much, or little, DreamWorks Animation can expect from Turbo following its weaker-than-expected $31.1M domestic opening weekend box office results. “Investors will probably shoot first and ask questions later given the domestic performance,” says Stifel analyst Benjamin Mogil — who just lowered his domestic box office estimate for the film by 33.3% to $90M with international -9.1% to $300M. Everyone acknowledges that the overseas results will be key. Turbo won’t open in China until the end of Q3, and won’t hit most of Europe until Q4. As a result, Cowen & Co’s Doug Creutz says he doesn’t expect DWA to announce a write-down for Turbo when the company releases its Q2 earnings in two weeks — although “a write-down remains possible over the next few quarters.” He just lowered his earnings estimate for the company’s fiscal year by 11.1% to 64 cents. Sterne Agee’s Vasily Karasyov warns that DWA may have to take a $19M write-down in Q4, as he lowered his domestic estimate for Turbo to $70M from $160m. If he’s right, he says, then it may suggest that the company has larger problems that could jeopardize next year’s original releases Peabody and Sherman and Happy Smekday. Lazard Capital’s Barton Crockett is more hopeful. He just raised his international box office estimate for Turbo by 10% to $351M observing that this weekend’s results in countries including Russia, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Thailand were higher than he expected. Still, he cut his domestic estimate by 39.8% to $100M. What’s more, he notes that just 25% of Turbo’s domestic box office came from 3D showings, “confirming a new low water mark in the genre….Last year, family movies were routinely pulling in mid 30% shares in 3D, and before that — from 2009 to 2011 — 45% to 60% shares.” He now projects that Turbo ultimately will generate $43M in profit, -51.7% from his earlier estimate. Meanwhile Janney Capital Markets’ Tony Wible is sitting tight with his estimate for $150M at U.S. box offices and $319M overseas. But that could change: “the greatest risk to Turbo ultimates is the release of [Sony's] Smurfs 2 on August 9th,” he says.