AMC lost more than half a billion dollars in first quarter, but CEO sees ‘increasingly favorable environment’


AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. lost more than half a billion dollars in the first three months of the year while reopening almost all of its U.S. theaters, but executives see brighter days ahead and the stock was holding steady in after-hours trading Thursday after eight straight days of declines.

reported first-quarter losses of $567.2 million, or $1.42 a share, Thursday afternoon, an improvement from a loss of more than $2 billion in the same quarter a year ago, which was mostly due to noncash impairment charges from the movie-theater chain revaluing its properties as the COVID-19 pandemic forced closures across the globe. Sales in the quarter totaled $148.3 million, down from $941.5 million in the first quarter of 2020.

That performance was expected after AMC revealed preliminary first-quarter results last week, while ditching a plan to ask investors to approve the potential sale of 500 million additional shares. FactSet reported that analysts were expecting losses of $1.34 a share on sales of $148 million, though some of those estimates may not have been updated after last week’s disclosure.

For AMC investors, the path ahead was more important than the first-quarter numbers Thursday. AMC disclosed Thursday that 589 of its 593 U.S. theaters and 110 of the 357 international theaters it leases or runs in partnership with others had reopened in some capacity by the end of April. Investors and analysts want to know when those theaters will be filled enough to boost AMC’s revenue back to something close to pre-pandemic results.

“We believe the company has sufficient liquidity to allow it to survive with low utilization through at least Q3, now that most of its highest-earning theaters have reopened,” Wedbush analysts wrote in a preview of Thursday’s earnings report. “We think demand for theatrical content is high, and plenty of high-quality content is awaiting audiences.”

“We finally can now say that we are looking at an increasingly favorable environment for movie-going and for AMC as a company over the coming few months,” Chief Executive Adam Aron said in Thursday’s announcement.

While executives did not provide a specific forecast for the current quarter or the full year in Thursday’s announcement, Aron did address any remaining liquidity concerns.

“Over the past 13 months, AMC has raised approximately $2.9 billion of gross cash proceeds from new debt and equity capital, secured around $1.2 billion of concessions from lenders and landlords, obtained more than $150 million of assistance from European governments, and generated more than $80 million from asset sales,” he noted. “Taken together, we have made well more than $4 billion of progress from our implementing a myriad of capital actions to help us make it
through this global storm.”

Executives expect to host a conference call to discuss the results further at 5 p.m. Eastern.

AMC’s stock has been a favorite of the Reddit meme-stocks crowd, which has helped shares gain more than 130% in the past year and more than quadruple so far in 2021. Aron noted in the announcement that AMC has “a vocal, enthusiastic and avid new shareholder base comprised mostly of some 3 million individual stockholders.”

The stock price has suffered a reversal recently, however, falling more than 21% during an eight-session losing streak that continued Thursday, when shares fell 1.9% to $9 a share. Shares were not moving appreciably in after-hours trading immediately following the release of the results.

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