AMC Theatres Loses $567 Million, Quarterly Earnings Miss Projections

AMC Entertainment’s quarterly financial results demonstrate that moviegoing may be slowly returning after months of COVID-related struggles, but cinemas still have to dig out of a deep hole left by a public health crisis that decimated their business.

Revenues at the world’s largest exhibition chain topped out at $148.3 million, down 84.2 percent from the year-ago period, while the company logged a loss of $1.42 per share, an improvement on the loss of $20.88 per share that it reported in the year-ago period. It had a $567 million net loss, which was still a substantial improvement on the $2.2 billion the company lost in the same quarter in 2020. Wall Street had expected a loss of $1.38 per share on revenue of $157.7 million.

The year-over-year comparisons are tricky. Parts of the 2020 quarter took place before lockdowns went into effect in mid-March, which forced AMC to shutter its locations for months. That left the chain teetering on the verge of bankruptcy, something that its CEO Adam Aron was able to avoid by renegotiating its debt and raising more capital. It also got a lift traders on social media platforms embraced the stock as a cause, sending its value soaring, similar to the lift that Game Stop received on Reddit, Twitter and the like. AMC reported that during the first quarter it repaid approximately $335 million of debt under its revolving credit facilities. The company has borrowed $5.4 billion and has more than $200 million in leases and other liabilities. It has $813.1 million in cash.

There’s been some good news, of late, that could help the heavily leveraged AMC rebound. The box office has enjoyed a few recent pandemic era hits in “Godzilla Vs. Kong” and “Demon Slayer: Mugen Train” and is getting a boost from rising rates of vaccinations. That, in turn, has led major moviegoing centers such as Los Angeles and New York City to loosen capacity restrictions on cinemas, which could help them sell more tickets. The exhibition sector is still suffering from a lack of major movies, with many recent Hollywood releases such as “Godzilla Vs. Kong” or the upcoming “Cruella” appearing on screens at the same time they are available on streaming services like HBO Max and Disney Plus.

AMC recently rescheduled its annual meeting from May to July, which it said would allow more time for investors to cast ballots on important shareholder matters.

Shares of AMC rose slightly in after-hours trading.

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