DreamWorks Animation Soars as DirecTV’s Merchant Named CFO

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc., the independent cartoon-movie studio, jumped the most in almost 10 months after appointing DirecTV executive Fazal Merchant as chief financial officer.

The shares advanced 9.4 percent to $22.55 at the close in New York, the biggest gain since Oct. 30.

Merchant, who succeeds Lew Coleman, joins the company on Sept. 15, Glendale, California-based DreamWorks Animation said today in a statement. Most recently, Merchant was CFO for Latin America at DirecTV, the largest U.S. satellite-TV operator.

DreamWorks Animation said Coleman will remain at the company as its vice chairman, where he’ll focus on global growth. The company’s “How to Train Your Dragon 2” took in $5.6 million in its opening day in China last week, bringing its total global sales to more than $500 million, according to a statement Aug. 15. The film is highest-grossing animated feature released this year.

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