AMC ticket sales soar as moviegoers return to theaters

AMC ticket sales soar as moviegoers return to theaters
Published - May 10, 2022 @ 11:20 AM (EET)

(AMC) Entertainment Holdings Inc., the world's largest movie theatre chain, reported first-quarter sales more than five times higher than the year-ago period, which beat analysts' estimates as moviegoers return to theaters.


Although still far from the more than $1 billion worth of tickets AMC regularly sold in the first three months before the pandemic took hold, The Leawood, Kan.-based company logged $785.7 million in sales, up from $148.3 million a year earlier.


Attendance of about 39.1 million is up from 6.8 million in the first quarter of 2021, with Chief Executive Adam Aron citing recent box office successes, including Spider-Man: No Way Home, The Batman, and Sonic the Hedgehog, as proof consumers are interested in theaters.


HEAD ABOVE WATER


The report came at a treacherous time for meme stocks and the broader market.  After the release, AMC (NYSE:AMC) shares rose as much as 7.8% to $13.50 in extended trading.


With the continued challenge of the pandemic, AMC has turned to other revenue sources besides ticket and candy sales.  Earlier this year, AMC acquired a 22% stake in Hycroft Mining Holding Corp. (NASDAQ:HYMC), a troubled gold and silver mining company, and started selling popcorn to people at home through its industry-leading website and app.


However, AMC stock is down 56% since March 28, while Hycroft stock is down 48%.


NOW WHAT


For the first quarter, AMC narrowed its losses to $337.4 million from a loss of $566.9 million in the year-ago period.


The company continues on its pandemic recovery trajectory, while the outlook for the rest of the year is exciting, Mr. Aron said, citing coming releases like "Top Gun: Maverick" and "Jurassic World Dominion."


As of March 31, 2022, AMC's cash flow was nearly $1,2 million, excluding restricted cash of $23.7 million.  Currently, AMC has liquidity availability of more than $1.35 billion.

"Our operating and capital allocation priorities remain unchanged: relish and guard our strong liquidity position, strengthen our balance sheet, innovate with our marketing programs to drive revenue, contain costs, invest in our core business, and continue to explore transformative value-creating investment opportunities." - Aron


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