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Cineplex Inc. should be a star in 2012: analyst

Cineplex Inc.'s first-quarter results set to be released on Thursday will reflect strong Canadian box office performance and concession revenues, Scotia Capital Inc. analyst Paul Steep suggests.

Box office revenue for the cinema operator should increase nearly 13 per cent given a "solid slate of film products," including The Hunger Games, while concession revenue per patron is forecast to increase 2.5 per cent to $4.37 from a year ago, Mr. Steep said.

Cineplex's ongoing investment in developing premium offerings, including VIP Cinemas, IMAX locations, and XSCAPE Entertainment Centres, is helping to drive higher revenue per person, he noted. "Overall, we are encouraged by the upcoming slate of blockbuster sequels and a solid line-up for 2012."

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Upside: Mr. Steep has a "sector perform" rating on Cineplex with a one-year price target of $30 a share.

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The rise in the stock price of broadcast equipment provider Miranda Technologies Inc. has "brought the stock back near to its proper valuation," said CIBC World Markets Inc. analyst Todd Coupland. "We do not see a buyer stepping forward at a price significantly above our target."

Upside: Mr. Coupland is maintaining his price target of 14.00 a share, but cutting his rating to "sector perform."

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BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. analyst John Reucassel downgraded financial services holding company Power Financial Corp. to "market perform" on a weaker earnings outlook for its subsidiaries Great West Lifeco Inc. and IGM Financial Inc. Great West's first-quarter results also missed consensus estimates.

Downside: Mr. Reucassel is cutting his one-year price target by $2 to $30 a share.

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IGM Financial Inc. sales were "weaker than expected" with net outflows of $853-million in the first year quarter versus net sales of $619-million a year ago, said CIBC World Markets Inc. analyst Paul Holden. "Given the recent pullback in equity markets, we expect net sales will trend worse through the rest of 2012."

Downside: Mr. Holden is maintaining his "sector performer" rating, but cutting his 12-to-18 month target price by $1 to $50 a share.

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The outlook for real estate investment trust Canadian REIT has been enhanced by the acquisition of two joint-venture properties this year, said TD Securities Inc. analyst Derrick Lau. "CREIT now has a strong presence totalling three sizable properties in the downtown Calgary office market."

Upside: Mr. Lau is maintaining a "hold" rating, but raising his price target to $41 a unit from $39.

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