Ontario has set upon its reopening path, as COVID-19 cases have dissipated in the late winter. The movie theatre industry has been hit hard during the pandemic. Cineplex (TSX:CGX), Canada’s largest cinema operator, has scarcely been able to conduct business over the past year. Today, I want to discuss Cineplex’s prospects and look at three TSX stocks that I’m more inclined to snatch up right now.
Why Cineplex may be facing another lost year
The announcement of major progress on vaccines in late 2020 sparked optimism ahead of the New Year. There were hopes that we could return to some degree of normalcy by the spring and summer of 2021. Those hopes appear to have been dashed, as politicians and officials scramble to clarify whether mass inoculations will lead to normalization.
Meanwhile, movie theatres and other service-oriented industries are suffering. Cineplex stock has shot up 60% in 2021 as of early afternoon trading on March 12. Its shares are still down 44% year over year. Theatre attendance plunged 95% from 2019 to 2020, as theatres were forced to cease operations by the middle of March.
Cineplex is still a risky stock as we look to the early spring. I’d target these promising TSX stocks instead in the middle of March.
These TSX stocks are rising in the streaming space
Corus Entertainment (TSX:CJR.B) is a Toronto-based company that operates specialty and conventional television networks and radio stations. Its shares have climbed 103% year over year at the time of this writing. This TSX stock is up nearly 40% so far in 2021.
In Q1 fiscal 2021, Corus achieved solid growth in Television advertising revenue. This had lagged, as advertisers withdrew in part during the pandemic. Moreover, Corus has jumped into the streaming space by offering Global and its other channels online. Corus offers a quarterly dividend of $0.06 per share, which represents a 4% yield.
WildBrain (TSX:WILD) is another exciting TSX stock in the streaming space. Indeed, the rise of streaming platforms have posed one of the biggest threats to Cineplex. This company develops, produces, and distributes film and television programs around the world. Its shares have climbed 64% in 2021. The TSX stock is up over 170% from the prior year.
In the second quarter of fiscal 2021, WildBrain’s revenue rose 17% year over year to $142 million. Adjusted EBITDA rose 14% to $29.1 million. Moreover, WildBrain Spark’s revenue hit $15.5 million — up from $8.9 million from the previous year. Its audience engagement rose 15% to 59.7 billion.
One more entertainment stock to buy instead of Cineplex
GameStop has put together a massive rally in 2021. Earlier this week, I’d suggested that investors should target another gaming TSX stock instead. Enthusiast Gaming (TSX:EGLX) is engaged in the media, events, and eSports business around the world. Its shares have climbed nearly 390% year over year. Investors can expect to see its last batch of 2020 results on March 22.
The eSports space has achieved massive growth in recent years. Moreover, the video game industry has also expanded its consumer base. Enthusiast Gaming is one TSX stock well worth picking up in this environment. Cineplex and movie theatres are in decline, while the video game space is on the rise.