DreamWorks Animation shares rise

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NEW YORK -- Shares of DreamWorks Animation SKG, the animation film studio behind "Shrek," rose Friday after an analyst began coverage of the company with a "Buy" rating, predicting gains from upcoming films.

The stock gained 96 cents, or 3.3 percent, to $30 in afternoon trading.

In a note to clients, Stifel Nicolaus & Co. analyst Drew E. Crum said DeamWorks has produced some of the most successful animated features in motion picture history.

"We believe the company's business prospects are promising, given a leading position in the attractive computer-generated film category, a strong pipeline of content augmented by a set of complimentary growth initiatives, and more accommodating operating conditions," Crum wrote in a client note.

Crum said the company's eight computer-generated films have averaged more than $210 million in domestic box office revenue.

"We believe DreamWorks Animation is well positioned to benefit from its participation in one of the most popular film genres: computer-generated animation," Crum wrote in a client note.

Looking ahead, Crum said the company has an attractive number of films in its pipeline, such as "Madagascar 2" and "Shrek 4," scheduled for release in 2010.

Near-term catalysts for the stock include the release of "Shrek the Third" on DVD and "Bee Movie," which opens in November and was written by Jerry Seinfeld.