AMC Entertainment grew its second-quarter revenues by 20 percent in 2018, with admissions alone increasing 17.7 percent versus the comparable period last year. As a result, the movie theater chain returned to profitability and bested media analyst expectations for the recently wrapped Q2.
Wall Street had forecast earnings per share of 8 cents on $1.43 billion in revenue, according to a Yahoo Finance consensus. AMC reported diluted EPS of 17 cents on a record $1.44 billion in revenue, beating on both benchmarks.
For the same quarter last year, AMC Entertainment had lost $1.35 per share.
“Obviously we are very pleased by AMC’s record results for the second quarter of 2018,” AMC President and CEO Adam Aron said in prepared remarks accompanying the financial release. “Our success was the result of our continued innovation in the design of our marketing programs and the theatrical experience we offer our guests, as well as an intense focus on the disciplined execution of our financial and operational strategies. And we had the opportunity to do so against a backdrop of a record setting industry movie slate that delivered the highest quarterly domestic box office admissions revenues in history.”
Aron also boasted that online advance ticketing soared 131 percent year over year, while company food and beverage revenue per patron of $5.29 is the highest in the country.
“While we are proud that AMC set financial records and outperformed the competition in Q2, it really shouldn’t be a surprise that AMC did well financially at a time when industry revenues were robust,” he said. “What may be the biggest news of all, though, is just how healthy are both AMC and the movie business overall. This is a solid and steady industry over the long haul. Theatre revenues have been growing over the past two decades. Honing in on our U.S. business in April through June, AMC’s attendance per screen increased 21.1 percent, AMC’s domestic admissions revenues were up 22.8 percent, outpacing overall domestic industry box office revenues which were up a still noteworthy 21.4 percent.”
“Consider that movie after movie has shattered attendance and revenue records this year, and that all-time overall monthly domestic industry box office revenue records were set in five different months out of the past 10,” Aron concluded his statement. “It is finally time for the sky-is-falling-in cynics to admit that they misinterpreted a brief slump in moviegoing last summer. Our industry is flourishing and strong, and the prospects for AMC are enormously bright.”
On Tuesday, Aron’s company first announced that its AMC Stubs A-List — the new, premium VIP tier of the AMC Stubs loyalty program — had enrolled more than 175,000 subscribers. The market responded quite favorably to that news.
The news of AMC’s success comes in the midst of competitor MoviePass’ uphill battle to stay afloat. On Tuesday, MoviePass announced that it would raise its monthly price to $14.95 from $9.95 and limit the access to virtually all wide-release movies during their first two weeks in theaters.
With A-List, guests can see any three movies per week for $19.95 (plus tax) per month.
Shares of AMC stock had closed Tuesday afternoon at $16.30 apiece, up more than 6 percent. While the U.S. stock markets officially reopen at 9:30 a.m. ET, AMC is currently trading up almost 2 percent in pre-market activity.
Aron and other AMC Entertainment executives will host a conference call Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. ET to discuss the quarter in greater detail.