Lionsgate Unveils Second Dividend Ahead of 'Divergent' Release

 

TORONTO – Lionsgate has declared its second-ever cash dividend of 5 cents ($0.05) per common share, this time ahead of its release of Divergent this weekend, which Wall Street is tracking closely.

The shareholder payout came as Evercore Partners analyst Alan Gould raised his estimate for YA title Divergent profits due to "strong tracking" ahead of its March 21 release.

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The mini-studio announced the payout for May 30 on Monday before the stock market opened.

The first quarterly shareholder payout on Feb. 7 came in the wake of the strong release of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

Divergent, the latest YA adaptation from Lionsgate/Summit, has a shot at matching the $69.6 million debut of Twilight in November 2008, according to observers.

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That tracking had Evercore's Gould raising his estimate for Lionsgate's full-year 2015 earnings per-share by 5 cents to $2, compared with a Wall Street consensus of $1.62.

Gould forecast Divergent's profits at around $45 million, $85 million or $140 million, assuming a domestic box office of $100 million, $150 million or $200 million, respectively.

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