Pandemic dashes AMC movie magic with $4.5B loss for 2020

AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. said the winter surge in coronavirus cases walloped the company during its latest quarter, forcing it to again shut down many of the theaters it had reopened. AMC on Wednesday reported a loss of $946.1 million for the fourth quarter, bringing its annual loss for 2020 to $4.59 billion. On a per-share basis, the losses amounted to $6.21 for the last quarter of the year and $39.15 for the year, dramatically worse than in 2019.

AMC CEO'S MESSAGE TO REDDIT TRADING COMMUNITY

The company generated $162.5 million in revenue to close out 2020, and $1.24 billion for the year, off 89% and 77% year over year, respectively. AMC's adjusted loss for the latest quarter was better than expectations from analysts, while revenue was ahead of the consensus estimate, according to FactSet. Shares of AMC gained 10.6% to $10.89 in after-hours trading.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
AMC AMC ENTERTAINMENT HOLDINGS INC 9.99 +0.21 +2.15%

As of the end of December, AMC said it was operating 394 domestic theaters with limited seating capacities. That number was down from the start of October when it had reopened 467 properties. Starting in March of last year, the company had closed cinemas for about five months in the domestic market.

"In response to state and local government mandates related to a domestic resurgence of Covid-19, many of AMC's 467 reopened U.S. theatres suspended operations," the company said.

GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HERE 

The company faced a similar dynamic in overseas markets. This year, the Leawood, Kan.-based company expects better results, with vaccines getting distributed and new movies slated for release in the coming months. said Chief Executive Adam Aron. "We have reason to be optimistic about AMC's ability to get to the other side of this pandemic," he added. Cinema operators were among the businesses hardest hit by the spread of the coronavirus. Executives temporarily closed many down theaters last year and have operated with limited capacities as government officials permit. Some consumers worry about visiting indoor spaces for business or recreation.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS

Meanwhile, home streaming has boomed during the pandemic and Hollywood studios have delayed releasing films, sold them for online distribution or focused on streaming platforms.AMC has been able to avoid bankruptcy as the pandemic decimated its business. Helping the company on that front were some individual investors who found each other on Reddit forum WallStreetBets. Those investors helped drive up the company's shares 467% over 72 hours at one point, allowing the company to raise additional funds from the stock market and cut debt, The Wall Street Journal has reported. AMC has more than $1 billion in cash on hand, Mr. Aronn said Wednesday.