Lions Gate Wins with Anticipation of “Hunger Games”

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp (NYSE:LGF) rode a wave of excitement about the March opening of the film “The Hunger Games” to surge 11 percent to $10.83 per share. This brings the independent studio behind the “Saw” horror movies to its highest share price since August 2007, says a Bloomberg report.

This increase — the largest since October 2008 — makes for a 30 percent gain so far this year. The company acquired rival Summit Entertainment this month, making Lions Gate the owner of the “Twilight” teen vampire film series, which has its final installment set for release in November.

“The first of four “The Hunger Games” films, based on the the Suzanne Collins books about teens fighting for their lives in a post-apocalyptic world, opens March 23. Matthew Harrigan, an analyst with Wunderlich Securities in Denver, said he expects it to bring in $200 million in box-office sales in the U.S. alone, according to Bloomberg.

“The pipe dream was that this would be tantamount to the ‘Twilight’ franchise,” said Harrigan in an interview. “People aren’t willing to go there yet, but it’s looking possible.”

Here’s how Lions Gate shares are trading now:

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (NYSE:LGF): LGF shares recently traded at $10.91, up $0.08, or 0.74%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $5.69 to $10.91. Volume today was 185,299 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 742,950 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 53.74, while trailing earnings are $0.20 per share.

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To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com