March 14, 2019 / 9:27 AM / a year ago

Cineworld shares jump on Regal deal success, blockbuster releases

(Reuters) - Shares of Britain’s Cineworld Group Plc jumped over 6 percent on Thursday as the company benefited from a string of blockbuster releases last year and bumped up the cost savings target from its acquisition of Regal Entertainment last year.

The stock was at the top of the FTSE mid-cap index after the company said it now expects cost savings from the deal to reach $150 million in 2019, up from an earlier estimate of $100 million.

Cineworld benefited from a slew of big-ticket releases in 2018 including action movies “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Infinity War” and films like “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again”, “Incredibles 2” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” in the UK.

The company is expected to gain this year as well from the release of a slate of major movie titles. While “Captain Marvel” had a strong opening last weekend, the other releases expected to do well include “Avengers: Endgame”, “Toy Story 4”, “Frozen 2”, “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” and “Star Wars: Episode IX”.

Cineworld’s proforma adjusted EBITDA for the year ended Dec. 31 rose 9.4 percent to $1.07 billion, beating the analyst consensus estimate of $1.04 billion.

Brokerage Investec upgraded its target price to 400 pence from 288 pence, while also bumping up its core earnings forecast for the current fiscal year.

The company’s shares were up as much as 6.4 percent at 307.2 pence.

Reporting by Sangameswaran S in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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