AMC Entertainment saw revenue plunge to $18.9 billion for the second quarter ended from in June from $1.5 billion the year before as it swung to the red, no surprise for the nation’s – and world’s — largest theater chain, that saw most locations shuttered completely for the entire three months.
The company swung a net loss of $561 million from a profit of $49 million the year before.
“It should be no surprise to anyone that with our operations shut the world over, and almost no revenues coming in the door, this was the most challenging quarter in the 100-year history of AMC,” said CEO Adam Aron.
AMC shares were up nearly 2% in after-hours trading. As investors saw the bright side. As of the end of July 2020, more than 130 international theatres were open including at least one in each country where AMC operate in Europe and the Middle East. Essentially all international theatres should reopen this month. It expects to open approximately two-thirds or more of our U.S. theatres in August as well.
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The stock hit a 52-week low of under two bucks in March when everything went south from a high of over $12 last summer. They’ve been off lows of late but have been bumping around in the $3-$4 range. They’re changing hands at $4.22
The quarterly financials of one of the buzziest company in media come as it just discombobulated the global exhibition business with its Universal deal. And, amid ongoing speculation of possible bankruptcy, it announced a complex debt restructuring that took months to complete and happened over the protests of a heavy-hitting group of bondholders.
Aron said AMC has started discussions with all of our studio partners to determine their interest in our pursuing similar agreements to Universal’s. “AMC is an innovator and we are embracing change that we are confident will be financially beneficial for AMC shareholders.
Late last month, the nation’s largest theater chain inked the landmark deal that smashed the theatrical window. It will let Universal and Focus Features releases play at AMC theaters for a 17-day exclusive theatrical window, after which Universal has the option to make titles available on PVOD platforms, with some kind of revenue sharing. Other big exhibitors Cineworld, the parent of Regal, and Cinemark, called the agreement a bad move, as did some small ones. Then Disney’s announcement Tuesday that highly-anticipated Mulan will roll directly onto Disney+ further roiled things up.
Exhibitor and studio executives on earnings calls over the past week talk about pent up demand for out-of-home viewing, the need to respect windows and saving product until theaters open. But as the pandemic surges and the longer it goes on (with most theaters in the U.S. still planning to open in mid-late August but possibly without key markets like New York and LA) the more like the Wild West things become.
Some in the industry believe the current gyrations will settle out once things return to normal and caution about taking anything that happens during the pandemic with a huge caveat.
Wall Streeters who follow exhibition are even cautiously upbeat on the AMC-Universal deal in some cases, like Eric Wold of B. Riley FBR, who said it not only provides an opportunity to move underperforming films out of theaters (where they are taking up valuable screen real estate), but creates a new way for the exhibitor to share in the economics of the film as it moves to the next distribution window.
Financially, AMC has bought itself some more time. On Monday, the company announced a restructuring with subordinated bondholders and Silver Lake Partners – also a bondholder – that will cut debt by over half a billion dollars and save it $415 million in interest and other expenses in coming months — giving the chain the wherewithal to continue on to the spring even in a worst case scenario with theaters not reopening.
AMC entered the coronavirus pandemic with elevated debt after a string of acquisitions that put it in a precarious financial situation when theaters shut in March around the world.
AMC is the largest movie exhibition company in the U.S., the largest in Europe and the largest globally with approximately 1,000 theatres and 11,000 screens.