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Barrington Turns Bullish On National CineMedia, Stock Surges 28%

Shares of National CineMedia (NCMI) rose 28.1% on Friday after Barrington Research upgraded the stock to a Buy from Hold on recovery hopes as new films begin to hit theaters.

Barrington Research analyst James Goss reiterated a price target of $5.50 (19.6% upside potential) on National CineMedia stock. Goss said that “Ample content coming to screens in the coming months should provide an attractive outlet for advertiser spending.” He expects though “a return to normal will take time, but structural initiatives including the Platinum premium ad spot and the increasing importance of digital efforts will create a greater opportunity as NCMI emerges from the crisis.”

Lockdown measures implemented by the government to contain the coronavirus have been severely hurting theater-related businesses. On August 3, North America’s largest digital cinema advertising operator reported that its 2Q revenues plunged 96.4% to $4 million year-over-year. The company reported a loss per share of $0.18, which compared unfavorably with the year-ago quarter’s earnings per share of $0.11. (See NCMI stock analysis on TipRanks).

Currently, the Street has a cautiously optimistic outlook on the stock, with a Moderate Buy analyst consensus. However, the average analyst price target of $4.33 implies a downside potential of 5.9% to current levels- with shares already down nearly 37% year-to-date.

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