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AMC Theatres Cuts Q2 Losses to $344 Million

Theater chain beats Wall Street forecasts, but CEO warns that ”this pandemic is not finished“

AMC Theatres beat Wall Street projections with its earnings report for Q2 2021, as revenue continued to increase during the early summer with theaters reopening and films returning to theaters.

The company reported a loss of $344 million in the quarter, or 71 cents/share, beating projections of 91 cents/share. That’s well up from Q2 of 2020, when the pandemic shutdown led to a loss of $5.38/share. Revenue increased to $444.7 million, above projections of $382 million.

“The second quarter of 2021 was transformational for AMC. We raised yet another $1.25 billion of new equity capital (before commissions and fees) in the quarter, boosting our quarter-ending liquidity to more than $2 billion (including cash and undrawn revolving lines of credit) which is about double the previous highest ever such mark in AMC’s 101–year history. We believe this gives AMC financial staying power to navigate boldly amidst coronavirus waters,” AMC CEO Adam Aron said in a statement.

But Aron also acknowledged that with the new surge in COVID-19 infections thanks to the Delta variant, the road to recovery for AMC and movie theaters in general will be rockier than the industry had hoped.

“AMC’s journey through this pandemic is not finished, and we are not yet out of the woods. However, while there are no guarantees as to what the future will bring in a still infection–impacted world, one can look ahead and envision a happy Hollywood ending to this story,” Aron said. “We would like to think that someday when a movie is filmed about AMC and COVID, its title will be one compelling word, ‘Recovery.’ But, only time will tell.”

Along with raising equity capital, AMC has seen its fortunes boosted by meme traders who have rallied around the company and significantly boosted its stock price. Aron thanked the traders during the company’s last earnings call and the company has opened up a Q&A page to allow the meme traders to ask questions for the earnings call. While the stock has fallen from its all-time high of $55/share in mid-June, it is still holding at 2017 levels as it closed on Monday at $33.89/share.

Last month, AMC made good on its promise to use its surging stock to acquire new cinemas, including two locations in Los Angeles that were operated by the now-defunct Pacific Theatres. The two multiplexes, located at The Grove in West Los Angeles and the Americana in Glendale, both ranked in the top 20 highest grossing L.A. theaters in 2019.

While AMC’s third quarter got a solid start from the holdover run of “F9” and the release of “Black Widow” and “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” it faces an upcoming period of uncertainty as theaters wait to see whether the COVID-19 surge will cause studios to change or abandon their plans for what is supposed to be a crowded September/October release period. Among the films currently projected for release in this period are “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” “Venom: Let There Be Carnage,” and “No Time to Die.”