AMC Surpasses Q3 2023 Expectations, Swinging to Profit Amidst Box Office Challenges

AMC Entertainment (NYSE: AMC) posted third-quarter results on Wednesday that exceeded both top- and bottom-line expectations, marking a positive turn for the movie-theater chain and meme-stock favorite, resulting in a swing to profit.

The net income for the company reached $12.3 million, or 8 cents per share, in contrast to a loss of $226.9 million, or $2.20 per share, in the same quarter of the previous year. Excluding one-time items, AMC reported a loss of 9 cents per share, surpassing the FactSet estimate of a 25-cent loss per share.

Revenue experienced a robust growth of 45.2%, reaching $1.406 billion, surpassing the FactSet consensus of $1.260 billion. AMC’s adjusted EBITDA stood at $194 million, compared to a loss of $13 million last year.

AMC’s CEO, Adam Aron, remarked on the achievement, stating, “For both revenue and adjusted EBITDA, these were AMC’s most successful third-quarter results in our company’s entire 103-year history, by definition being greater than the third quarter of pre-pandemic 2019.”

Aron continued, “For the second consecutive quarter, AMC reported positive net income, and we ended the quarter with $730 million of cash. This all suggests that we are well underway on our growth path to recovery from the ravages of the COVID pandemic.”

He further highlighted the company’s success even with a 16% decrease in attendance at the domestic box office compared to 2019, attributing it to a 30% increase in contribution per patron.

Admissions revenue exceeded expectations at $797.7 million, compared to the FactSet consensus of $739 million, while food and beverage revenue reached $482.7 million, above the FactSet consensus of $449 million.

During a conference call discussing the results, Aron acknowledged potential challenges in 2024 due to the short-term impact of writers’ and actors’ strikes, urging all parties involved to seek an agreement.

Aron also highlighted the success of Taylor Swift’s concert film and announced the upcoming release of “Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé” on December 1, expressing optimism about future collaborations with renowned musical artists.

In a separate development, AMC benefited from the summer blockbuster phenomenon, Barbenheimer, with movies like Barbie and Oppenheimer contributing significantly to its third-quarter success. Barbie, released by Warner Bros., garnered $1.4 billion in global box office sales since July 19, while Universal’s Oppenheimer reached $948 million worldwide.

The positive quarter did not include proceeds from Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour, which opened in AMC theaters after the third quarter. Aron revealed in a social media post that the concert movie surpassed $200 million in global box office with over 10 million viewers.

The third quarter involved a 1-for-10 reverse stock split, conversion of APE preferred shares to common stock, and a sale of 40 million shares, raising $325.5 million and significantly boosting AMC’s cash reserves to $730 million by the quarter’s end.

The earnings release comes on the heels of the recent scandal the firm’s chief executive has been involved in. A woman, using fake identities, attempted to extort Aron for a significant sum of money, resorting to sexually explicit images and messages as leverage.

In March 2022, a Bronx woman, Sakoya Blackwood initiated contact with Aron, adopting the pseudonym “Mia” and sharing images of an individual her legal team later asserted was a 17-year-old Russian model (with no specific age confirmed by prosecutors). Aron, married since 1987, mistakenly believed her to be someone from a prior relationship, inquiring about her identity, including if she was a ballerina who had engaged in “unmentionable things” with him, as indicated in court documents. This exchange led to further communication, culminating in Aron sharing explicit photographs, including those featuring another woman, as detailed in the government’s sentencing memorandum.

Blackwood subsequently pleaded guilty in the summer of 2022 following a federal indictment.

Information for this story was found via Market Watch, Barron’s, and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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