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Pixar rolls past 4Q estimates

    Pixar (Nasdaq: PIXR) rolled past analysts' estimates in its fourth quarter Thursday, raking in $9.6 million, or 19 cents a share, on sales of $24.9 million.

    First Call consensus expected it to earn 14 cents a share in the quarter.

    Pixar shares closed off 5/8 to 38 ahead of the earnings report.

    In the year-ago quarter, Pixar earned $1.1 million, or 2 cents a share, on sales of $3.1 million.

    For the year, it pulled in $49.2 million, or 99 cents a share, on sales of $121 million compared to a profit of $7.8 million, or 15 cents a share, on sales of $14.3 million.

    "These annual results -- profits just shy of $50 million on revenues of $121 million -- demonstrate Pixar's earnings potential from our new Disney partnership," said CEO Steve Jobs in a prepared release. "And, we are looking forward to another terrific year with revenues ramping up from our blockbuster Toy Story 2."

    Toy Story 2 domestic box office receipts are currently at $234 million, making it the No. 2 domestic animated film of all time, behind The Lion King. International box office receipts, with releases in 20 territories, have reached $47 million.

    Toy Story 2 is scheduled for wide release in the UK on Feb. 11 and Japan on March 11.

    Last quarter, Pixar easily topped analysts' estimates when it earned $32.3 million, or 63 cents a share, on sales of $79.2 million.

    Its shares moved as high as 50 5/8 in November before sliding back to a low of 33 in January.

    Seven of the nine analysts tracking the stock maintain either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation.

    First Call consensus expects it to earn $1.29 a share in fiscal 2000.