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Analyst: Image May Get 'Narnia' Boost

14 Dec, 2005 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Image Entertainment could see a revenue increase in the third quarter following the box office success of Disney's The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Analyst David Miller with Sanders Morris Harris in Los Angeles upgraded Image's stock evaluation based upon the distributor's ownership of the original BBC version of “The Narnia Chronicles.” Image acquired the title through its acquisition last summer of shuttered independent distributor Home Vision.

Miller said Image could sell 120,000 units of the title — about 70,000 more than a typical Image sellthrough release — generating about $1.4 million in revenue.

“We believe that interest in the C.S. Lewis novels is high enough that many consumers are choosing to purchase the BBC version of the story as well,” said Miller.

He upgraded third quarter (ending Dec. 31) revenue projections from $34.7 million to $36.1 million, resulting in a slight increase over previous guidance levels.

Finally, Miller upgraded Image from a “sell” rating to “hold” rating based in part on his belief the company is undervalued following Lions Gate Entertainment's failed acquisition attempt.

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