With Cineplex Inc.’s (TSX:CGX) first-quarter 2016 earnings announcement, we are reminded of the qualities of this company and its management, which make it a stock that every investor should own. Revenue in the quarter increased 30.8%, adjusted EBITDA increased 42%, and EPS increased 100% to $0.34. Furthermore, the company increased its dividend by 3.8% to $1.62 per share. In fact, the company has increased its dividend every year since 2011.
The details of the quarter reveal once again that the company’s proactive and strategic focus continue to drive success.
Box office stability
The first-quarter’s box office performance was exceptional due in large part to big hits such as Star Wars, Deadpool, and Zootopia. Attendance increased a very strong 17.7%, a point that highlights that movie watchers still value the movie theatre experience.
Revenue per patron is increasing
Within this environment, Cineplex management has been very adept at finding ways to increase revenue. With the premium-priced theatres, such as the VIP theatres, and an increase in the amount of 3D movies, the company was able to increase its box office revenue per patron by 5.2% to $9.36. Similarly, the company has managed to increase its concession revenue per patron by 5% to $5.44.
And Cineplex is going even further with this strategy of premium movie experiences, which have been well received by movie-goers. The company will open more VIP cinemas this year and will open its first 4Dx auditorium, which has moving chairs, scents, and environment effects such as wind, snow, and bubbles.
Diversifying away from “Hollywood”
Cineplex has been very vocal about its plans to diversify away from “Hollywood” product and continues to do this successfully. This quarter, the Media segment represented 10% of revenue and the Other segment, which includes gaming, the Cineplex store, private parties and corporate events, represented 12.4% of revenue. The Other Revenue segment is a clear area of growth. It increased 197% to $41.2 million this quarter as the company continues to be successful in its attempts at diversification.
The Media segment’s revenue increased 13.7% this quarter and was driven by the automotive category, digital poster cases, and interactive media zones. This quarter, the company’s U.S. office secured an agreement with Dairy Queen to supply it with digital media in its stores, which is very positive. Furthermore, management has stated that they are seeing good interest from U.S. companies.
In summary, this company has all the markings of a good, long-term holding for investors. There are two things that I would caution on though. Firstly, the stock’s valuation is not cheap and, more importantly, in pursuit of growth in its non-Hollywood revenue, the company will be stepping up its capital investment in the next few years.