The Globe and Mail reports in its Wednesday edition that Canaccord analyst Aravinda Galappatthige cut Cineplex to "hold" from "buy." The Globe's David Leeder writes that Mr. Galappatthige, however, boosted his share target from $31 to $34, which is 11 cents under the consensus. Mr. Galappatthige says Cineplex shares are now trading at the proposed acquisition price put forth by Cineworld Group PLC. At the same time, the analyst also lowered fourth quarter box office estimates, noting blockbusters like Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Jumanji: The Next Level, and Frozen 2 were "unable to generate significantly greater revenue than Q4/18's slate (i.e. Fantastic Beasts and Aquaman)." Pointing to "somewhat muted" theatrical revenue, Mr. Galappatthige is now projecting total revenue of $447-million for the fourth quarter, a rise of 4.5 per cent year-over-year. That falls short of expectations of $461-million. Mr. Galappatthige expects earnings per share to fall nine cents year-over-year to 34 cents. He says his price target reflects "the Cineworld acquisition given the ending of the go shop period." On Aug. 8, 2019, The Globe reported that Mr. Galappatthige kept Cineplex at "buy." The shares were then worth $23.
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