AMC Entertainment suffered greater losses than media analysts had expected in the first quarter of 2019, when the company says its theater attendance declined 12%. AMC’s per-screen attendance slid 10.1%.
Wall Street had forecast the company’s Q1 loss per share (or negative earnings per share) at -54 cents on $1.19 billion in revenue, per a Yahoo Finance consensus estimate. AMC Entertainment actually reported a much worse adjusted loss of -$1.21 per share, but exceeded expectations with $1.20 billion in revenue.
Net losses were $130.2 million for the three-month period ending March 31, 2019.
Revenue decreased 13.2% from 2018’s first quarter. Ticket and food and beverage sales were better last year thanks to the Q1 2018 release of box-office smash “Black Panther.” This year’s first quarter didn’t have a comparable blockbuster, despite the success of “Captain Marvel.” 2019’s second quarter certainly had a biggie — more on that in a bit.
Within the financial filing, AMC CEO and President Adam Aron called his company’s performance “an anticipated slow start,” but added that he continues to be “quite bullish about the full year prospects…due to an extraordinary slate of movies coming” — especially at the end of the year.
He then personally pointed to the lack of a “Black Panther” and the overall industry being hit harsher than AMC, which is the largest theater chain in the world. Plus, AMC’s U.S. food and beverage capture ($5.23) on a per-patron basis set a new first-quarter record, Aron said.
There’s always “Avengers: Endgame,” which has been shattering records since its late-April release.
“We continue to be excited about the remainder of 2019, which we believe might be the highest grossing 9-month period in cinema history,” Aron said. “We are optimistic that the full year 2019 box office will be at least as strong as 2018, and potentially could be the first year ever that the domestic box office breaks $12 billion.”
Company stock (AMC) closed Wednesday at $14.65 per share, down 32 cents. The U.S. stock markets will reopen at 9:30 a.m. Thursday morning.
Aron and other AMC Entertainment executives will host a conference call at 8:30 a.m. ET to discuss the quarter in greater detail.