AMC Entertainment Holdings looks forward to stronger box office as Black Adam and Avatar come to cinemas

AMC Entertainment Holdings (NYSE:AMC) shares spiked after the cinema group’s third-quarter earnings were not as bad as expected amid a soft box office period. 

The movie theatre chain reported a loss per share of US$0.22, flat on the same period a year ago but not as bad as the US$0.27 that Wall Street analysts forecast, according to Zachs. 

Revenue for the third quarter of US$968.4mln was up on the US$763.2mln last year but down from the US$1.17bn in the second quarter. 

Adjusted income (EBITDA) decreased US$7.5mln to a loss of US$12.9mln compared to a loss of US$5.4mln for the third quarter of 2021.

Cash stood at US$684.6mln and liquidity availability was US$895.8mln, including undrawn capacity under its revolving credit facility.

Chairman and chief executive Adam Aron said the results were hit by a “particularly soft” industry-wide box office in the latter two-thirds of the quarter, but he was encouraged by the per-patron metrics for admissions and food & beverage spending, which he said “remain well above pre-pandemic levels”.

Aron said he looked forward to a “more robust” film slate in the fourth quarter, which has already started strong with the release of Black Adam from DC Comics, which he noted had the highest opening weekend box office of all-time for a film starring the former wrestler known as The Rock.

Other predicted blockbusters to be released in the quarter include ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ this weekend, where advanced ticket sales have surpassed expectations, along with Disney animation ‘Strange World’ and the long, long-awaited ‘Avatar’ follow-up. 

Aron added that AMC has reduced and refinanced debt and a small equity capital raising “bolster our agility and allow us to pursue strategic opportunities,” such as the recently announced Zoom Rooms for companies looking to hold remote meetings, “to transform our company in a post-pandemic environment”.

He said more business development announcements are expected for the coming weeks and months, which along with an improving movie theatre sector “positions AMC Entertainment to create value for all our stakeholders.”

The stock, which closed at US$5.34, spiked to US$5.89 before settling back down in pre-market trading on Wednesday. 

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