AMC Entertainment Revenues Rise but Not Enough for Wall Street

Q3 earnings also surge for theater chain’s parent company, and kids films “Minions” and “Inside Out” drive record concession sales

AMC Entertainment Holdings, parent of the AMC movie theater chain, on Monday reported solid earnings of $12.2 million, or 12 cents a share, in the third quarter. That was up from $7.4 million, or 8 cents a share, in the period a year ago.

Revenue was positive too, rising to $689 million in the quarter, compared with $634 million a year ago. But analysts had expected AMC, which owns and operates movie theaters across the U.S., to report earnings of 15 cents a share on sales of $691 million.

“We were in line with industry benchmarks in terms of revenues, so the difference probably came from less productivity from our IMAX theaters, which were off about 5 percent,” said Craig Ramsey, AMC interim chief executive officer and chief financial officer.

Admissions revenues were $441.3 million compared to $417.4 million for the same period a year ago, and attendance grew 7.4 percent to $47.3 million.

Animated hits “The Minions” and “Inside Out” were the top films and families dominated AMC crowds, driving concessions sales to a record. Income from snacks and drinks rose to a third-quarter record $216.8 million, compared to $189.1 million last year. Per patron spending increased 6.8 percent to a third quarter record $4.58.

But the kiddie crowd meant fewer premium ticket sales and AMC counts on those, since it has 136 3D IMAX screens and 2,234 RealD screens.

Adjusted earnings were $109 million and the adjusted margin was 15.8 percent, compared to $90.1 million and 14.2 percent last year.

The chain has 346 locations mostly in North America, along with 86 more locations in mainland China, home of its corporate parent the Wanda Group. Shares of AMC were flat in late trading Monday after ending the day up half a cent at $27.50.