AMC posts narrower-than-expected loss, but CEO says there are still pandemic challenges ahead

FAN Editor

The AMC Burbank 16 and the Batman bronze statue in Downtown Burbank.

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AMC Entertainment shares fell more than 5% in extended trading Monday even though the movie theater operator posted a third-quarter loss that was narrower than expected.

“Our financial results continue to improve,” CEO Adam Aron said in a statement Monday. “One can see and feel that our industry and our company are on a path of recovery and improvement. … However, even amidst such good news, we are not yet where we want and need to be.”

Here’s what the company reported compared with what Wall Street was expecting, based on a survey of analysts by Refinitiv:

  • Loss per share: 44 cents vs. 53 cents expected
  • Revenue: $763.2 million vs. $708.3 million expected

As moviegoers returned to theaters, AMC posted a net loss of $224.2 million, or 44 cents per share, compared with a loss of $905.8 million, or $8.41 per share, a year ago. Analysts had expected the company to lose 53 cents per share, according to a survey from Refinitiv.

Revenue rose to $763.2 million from $119.5 million last year, and topped the $708.3 million analysts had expected.

The company’s stock initially popped after the better-than-expected results were released. However, shares soon reversed directions, as investors saw more challenges ahead. AMC shares have been at the center of this year’s meme stock craze, skyrocketing more than 2,025% in 2021.

AMC said that all of its domestic cinemas were open as of Sept. 30, as were 99% of its international theaters. The company said 40 million guests viewed films during the third quarter, up from 22 million in the second quarter, thanks to new blockbuster titles such as “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” and “Free Guy,” and rising vaccination rates.

During the quarter, the company saw admission revenue rise to $425.1 million from $62.9 million in the year-ago period. Its food and beverage sales also surged to $265.2 million from just $29.1 million on a year-over-year basis.

Still, AMC’s operating costs outpaced its revenue, leading the company to post a loss for the quarter.

“We wish to emphasize that no one should have any illusions that there is not more challenge ahead of us still to be met,” Aron said. “The virus continues to be with us, we need to sell more tickets in future quarters than we did in the most recent quarter, and adjusted EBITDA is still well below pre-pandemic levels.”

At the end of the third quarter, AMC had more than $1.8 billion in liquidity, including cash and undrawn revolving credit lines. Aron said the company does not anticipate having to borrow under those lines of credit in the next 12 months.

This liquidity has allowed AMC to explore — and incorporate — new revenue streams. The company has already acquired new theater leases, begun to offer new content, like concerts and sporting events, and it is expanding into the popcorn retail business.

The company said last quarter that it would be looking to offer new payment options such as bitcoin. On Monday’s earnings call, Aron said that AMC continues to look at other cryptocurrencies it can accept and has spoken with third parties about launching its own cryptocurrency.

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