Friday, June 05, 2015

DreamWorks Tilts Up?

The Wall Street gang and its accompanying analysts are starting to think that, hey! DreamWorks might be in okay shape after all!

DreamWorks Animation [stock] is up 7.2% and has reached its highest price since February 2014 as Stifel Nicolaus upgrades the shares to Buy after an "exceptionally candid" meeting with management.

The analyst firm has set a price target of $34. ... Stifel's Benjamin Mogil says the firm came away from the meetings "more positive" after hearing about how DWA management was pivoting after problems of the last few years on movie creativity. DreamWorks' film plans are "more realistic/in-tune," Stifel notes, since "2012-2014 film challenges were tied to films which skewed older right as the box office began to see changes whereby animation demand was increasingly skewing younger as kids began to age out of the genre earlier."

The studio's TV segment was thought to decline in 2017 after peaking next year, but Stifel now sees that output deals could get extended. For consumer products: "Far more of the revenue target for the year is not tied to feature films, which grants us more comfort with the target's attainability." ...

In other words, the green eyeshade crowd likes it that DreamWorks Animation is not so dependent on creating one hit feature after another. (The brutal facts: it's a tough hat trick to perform year in and year out.)

So now that the TV work is generating more cash and looks as though it will extend farther into the future, and with more coming in from merchandising, the company looks more robust.

Add On: The Deadline version of DreamWorks' happy time here.

2 comments:

brandon smith said...

I'm sure the anticipated premiere of DreamWorks Dragons: Race to the Edge might have something to do with it.

While this is good news, there are two things that are important here.

1. I don't have a problem with “younger skewing, lighter and more comedic films.” So long as they remember to leave room for films/franchises like Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon. Whether they realize this or not, they have their audiences (and fans) as well. Once again, the passing assessment of animation as a 'genre' is just wrong (in any context).

2. Putting more of these “younger skewing, lighter and more comedic films.” in the hands of talented writers and directors might also provide some creative benefits on the side. With Bonnie Arnold and Mireille Soria as the current Presidents of DWA's feature division, I have very little doubt that they can do that.

F. Kousac said...

dreamworks feature cartoons have always skewed towards young children and juvenile. It's been a big part of their problem--not attracting FAMILIES. ALL of their tv stuff in particular, is being specifically geared towards the toddler set, which can only further limit their goals of financial independence.

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