(Scroll down for live coverage starting at 3:55 p.m. EST)
It is time for movie theater operator AMC (AMC) - Get AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. Class A Report to report Q4 results. Wall Street Memes will follow the company’s earnings day in real time, via live blog, starting around 3:55 p.m. EST on March 1. This will be an eventful evening that you do not want to miss!
To jump straight into the live blog, scroll further below to the “Live Blog Starts Here” section. Also, to see all the updates, be sure to refresh your browser periodically.
(Read more from Wall Street Memes: AMC Stock Pre-Earnings: Pandemic Days Are Over)
AMC: breaking free of the pandemic
Maybe the big theme of AMC’s earnings day will be “the end of the pandemic”. To be clear, Q4 results will still look soft compared to 2019. But the recovery that started to take shape last year is likely to continue, while any color on Q1 results should point in the direction of “business as usual” again.
On revenues, AMC has already pre-announced $1.17 billion. Interestingly, the company is expected to post positive adjusted EBITDA of around $150 million and operating cash flow of $217 million. This is not too bad for a company with $9 billion in market cap coming out of a historic downcycle.
Below are a couple of interesting topics of conversation that could come up:
- In the face of successful theatrical releases (e.g., Spider-Man, Uncharted), how soon will it take for attendance to recover to pre-pandemic numbers? In October, attendance spiked to 70% of 2019 levels, up from 43% in Q3.
- Has AMC made progress on some of its growth initiatives? The company has been looking to diversify the business model away from box office and concession stands to include, for example, NFT partnerships and AMC-branded popcorn.
Live blog starts here!
(Please refresh your browser for updates below)
3:12 p.m. PST: Thanks for being with us this evening. Enjoy the rest of your Tuesday! Stay safe, and happy investing.
3:12 p.m. PST: Ok, earnings call is over!
3:11 p.m. PST: ...and now up +0.2%.
3:10 p.m. PST: Q&A now shifts to the sell side. We should be wrapping up any moment now. Conversation is about debt and refinancing. AMC stock down only -0.1%.
3:09 p.m. PST: Regarding the stock price, well... you all know AMC. Shares can behave very erratically. They now trade at -0.3% in after hours, and I don't think that bearishness is justified by Q4 results. But in "AMC world", a drop of less than 1% is virtually insignificant. Let's see what happens tomorrow after the opening bell.
3:07 p.m. PST: Absent a turnaround in the COVID-19 crisis or economic landscape, I believe it is about time to look past the 2020-2021 downcycle. AMC is in full recovery mode, and the management team is clearly spending plenty of time thinking about growth and new initiatives. Investors should feel good about that.
3:06 p.m. PST: Attendance, average ticket size, food and beverage demand seem to be trending in the right direction. The balance sheet looks solid, and positive cash flow is great news.
3:04 p.m. PST: Let me go ahead and start sharing some thoughts. Since the earnings release came out at the same time as the start of the earnings call, I had little time to go through it in detail. But clearly, AMC seems to be doing substantially better compared to last year — let alone 2020.
3:03 p.m. PST: Q&A session should be winding down, maybe another 10 minutes to go. AMC stock looking to settle at around -1% in after hours.
3:02 p.m. PST: Question on debt management. AMC looking at lowering rent balances and buying back outstanding debt at attractive prices.
2:59 p.m. PST: Question on NFT and crypto. CEO says the company has had four projects on these initiatives since November. Company looking into giving NFTs away for free, but also selling them. On crypto, AMC working on adopting Doge and Shiba, but looking at the possibility of issuing an AMC coin. CEO sees the regulatory environment changing in 2022, and AMC will keep working within that framework.
2:57 p.m. PST: Question on premium formats. CEO proud of partnerships with Dolby and IMAX. AMC looking to bring new theaters with premium features into the portfolio. Timing could be several months, about a year.
2:54 p.m. PST: Question on alternative content. CEO is "intrigued" by it. AMC has had concerts, older movies, etc. But sports rights is the biggest deal, in CEO's opinion. "Easier said than done", but a possibility for the future.
2:53 p.m. PST: Oddly and unfortunately, AMC stock is now down -1.4%. Drop seems unrelated to the call, to the best of my knowledge. Shares have started to bounce around a bit now.
2:52 p.m. PST: Question on other food and beverage initiatives. CEO says "absolutely", saying that company is an innovator. Impossible Nuggets have already been launched and new menu items being added. Older initiatives being revisited.
2:50 p.m. PST: Q&A starts, first question from investor on popcorn initiative. CEO has already addressed the issue during prepared remarks. He provides a bit more color.
2:49 p.m. PST: But first, Adam Aron talks about not issuing more shares of AMC up to this point. AMC stock now up only +0.2%.
2:48 p.m. PST: Q&A will start any moment now.
2:48 p.m. PST: CEO gives a shout out to AMC's passionate investors. Quote: "Retail owns the float". He warns, however, that he cannot legally make any comments on naked shorting and other market issues raised by "apes".
2:44 p.m. PST: Lastly before the Q&A, CEO Aron talks about recovery in 2022. Company needs to be agile and open to change. Adam talks about AMC's liquidity being used for growth, innovation and transformative M&A. Quote: "AMC is thinking boldly".
2:41 p.m. PST: On branded credit card, AMC is bringing in new leadership to spearhead this initiative.
2:38 p.m. PST: Discussion shifts to new location acquisitions in 2021.
2:37 p.m. PST: On popcorn, initiative is on track. Company sells 50 tons of popcorn on a good day, and AMC is branching out to popcorn sales outside the movie theater.
2:35 p.m. PST: Mr. Aron talks about variable pricing. Batman showings to be more expensive than other movies. CEO compares the pricing strategy to favorable seats costing more.
2:34 p.m. PST: AMC stock now dips about 1 percentage point. I wonder if the AMC coin "delay" had anything to do with this.
2:34 p.m. PST: Adam talks about crypto and the ability to buy movie tickets with Shiba Inu and others. Still looking into issuing AMC's own crypto, pending regulatory matters.
2:32 p.m. PST: Interestingly, AMC stock jumped about 50 bps on the NFT comments. I have written about this phenomenon once.
2:32 p.m. PST: CEO reiterates goal to become more than a movie theater operator. He starts with NFT. AMC collaborating with studios to develop the Spider-Man NFT. Some of them were sold in the open market for as much as $17,000.
2:30 p.m. PST: But first, an update on innovation initiatives.
2:29 p.m. PST: CEO Adam Aron is back on to prepare for Q&A.
2:29 p.m. PST: Total numbers of locations closed during the pandemic is 83, locations open are 30, net closure of 53. Focus on improving profitability.
2:27 p.m. PST: Cash use priorities remain the same, from lowering debt and liabilities to financing growth. In my view, AMC is doing just fine with the balance sheet.
2:26 p.m. PST: AMC stock now up only +1.9% after hours.
2:25 p.m. PST: On the balance sheet, strong liquidity of about $1.6 billion in cash and $0.2 billion in credit facilities. Rental deferment balances expected to be reduced further going forward. Successful cash raise last month was used to pay higher interest rate debt. Smart.
2:24 p.m. PST: CFO mentions use of AMC property for corporate meetings, which is an interesting way to diversify the business and leverage the company's assets.
2:23 p.m. PST: Food and beverage continues to do very well. Average revenue per patron of $6.38 is much better than $5.53 in the comparable quarter in 2020.
2:21 p.m. PST: Relative to 2019, higher percentage of evening and weekend showings in Q4. That's a positive for average revenue earned.
2:20 p.m. PST: Domestic and international markets both displaying strength.
2:20 p.m. PST: Average revenue per patron of nearly $20, which is strong double-digits higher YOY.
2:19 p.m. PST: Positive $224 million in op cash flow, which is also a U-turn from cash burn in the first half of 2021. Let's be clear: AMC is no longer in survival mode, if anyone had any doubt about this.
2:18 p.m. PST: Revenues of $1.17 billion, as pre-announced. This is substantially higher YOY. Positive adjusted EBITDA for the first time in two years, $159 million.
2:17 p.m. PST: CFO Sean Goodman now has the floor.
2:17 p.m. PST: Narrative is very upbeat. AMC stock is now up +3%.
2:16 p.m. PST: Adam Aron bets on sequential improvement in each quarter of 2022, as he saw last year.
2:15 p.m. PST: CEO thinks that box office in 2022 could be nearly double 2021 levels. He cautions about supply chain issues, war in Europe, etc.
2:14 p.m. PST: Looking to 2022, movie lineup is looking very strong, says the CEO. By the way, this is the same thing said by IMAX, when they reported earnings last week.
2:13 p.m. PST: Third-highest grossing movie of all time, Spider-Man, cited as a positive for the quarter. Other titles mentioned too.
2:12 p.m. PST: CEO thinks that streaming and movie theaters can co-exist. Just like the good ol' days. "Conventional wisdom is so utterly wrong".
2:11 p.m. PST: "Job is not yet done", says the CEO... AMC stock up 4%-plus in after hours. The tone is definitely positive.
2:10 p.m. PST: 60 million people in attendance in Q4. That's up from 8 million in Q4 of 2020.
2:09 p.m. PST: Box office improved each quarter of 2020 and 2021.
2:09 p.m. PST: Liquidity of $1.8 billion. That's a nice cushion, especially now that AMC is back to cash flow positive.
2:08 p.m. PST: Positive EBITDA, positive operating cash flow. Markers were not "barely" achieved, says the CEO. He is right, this is pretty solid, as expected.
2:07 p.m. PST: CEO Adam Aron is on! "Well on path to recovery".
2:06 p.m. PST: From the press release: "Strongest quarterly results in two full years."
2:05 p.m. PST: Call starts immediately, no time to go through the press release, unfortunately.
2:04 p.m. PST: Ok, here's the earnings release, finally! AMC stock now swinging up and down near flat.
2:03 p.m. PST: AMC stock now flat after hours, according to Yahoo Finance. Oops!
2:01 p.m. PST: Not that this is my fault or anything, but... sorry everyone for today's delays. No earnings release, no earnings call yet.
2:00 p.m. PST: Ok, it's officially time for the call! Enjoying hold music for now. No earnings release to be found.
1:57 p.m. PST: AMC investors, traders, HODLers... what's your strategy with this stock? Buy and hold forever? Looking for an entry price? Exit price? Looking to short? Let me know on Twitter!
1:53 p.m. PST: I am logging into the earnings call, just in case. If you want to do the same, here's the link again. Call scheduled to start in 7 minutes.
1:51 p.m. PST: I doubt that CEO Adam Aron has any time for me now, but it's worth trying it... *shrug emoji*
1:47 p.m. PST: Thank you for keeping in touch on Twitter, by the way:
1:45 p.m. PST: Well... without an earnings release, the earnings call could also be delayed. I keep frantically hitting all kinds of refresh buttons. AMC still up +2.1%.
1:43 p.m. PST: Since the start of the pandemic, the latest that AMC's earnings release has come out was 4:33 p.m. EST. This is unusual.
1:40 p.m. PST: Zzzzz... ok, this is a first. No earnings release to be found, the earnings call starts in 20 minutes.
1:36 p.m. PST: Meanwhile, stock is up 2.3% in after hours.
1:35 p.m. PST: Ok, this anticipation is killing me... if anyone knows about AMC's earnings release, in case it has already posted, let me know on Twitter.
1:29 p.m. PST: According to Yahoo Finance, AMC has largely erased today's losses in after-hours trading (see below). The earnings release has not been posted on AMC's investor relations page yet.
1:25 p.m. PST: AMC now heading higher than +2%, but I have yet to see the earnings release.
1:21 p.m. PST: AMC stock approaches +2% in after hours.
1:21 p.m. PST: I'm looking for the press release, hang in there...
1:20 p.m. PST: Ok! The stock is on the move! Higher +1.5% according to Yahoo Finance!
1:16 p.m. PST: Alright, everyone! Brace for AMC's Q4 earnings report! Expect it to come out any second now!
1:15 p.m. PST: I quickly checked Ortex just now, the short ratio on AMC is currently 20% of the float. That's a large number. Could we see a squeeze today?
1:13 p.m. PST: For now, AMC stock trades 0.8% higher in after hours. But don't make too much of it: expect the price to swing as soon as the earnings release comes out. Hopefully for investors, the swing will lead the share price higher.
1:11 p.m. PST: As a reminder, AMC stock has been down around 30% for the year so far. It will be great for traders, investors and "apes" to see a good print today!
1:10 p.m. PST: I will be particularly curious to hear about (1) attendance, (2) initiatives in NFT and other business partnerships, and (3) the management team's "tone" for the Q1 outlook and beyond.
1:08 p.m. PST: Keep in mind that AMC has already preannounced some numbers —we talked about it in our earnings preview. Revenue will land at $1.17 billion, and the company should report positive adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow.
1:07 p.m. PST: The earnings call is about an hour long or a bit more. CEO Adam Aron is "the star of the show", as he provides prepared remarks and answers questions from investors.
1:05 p.m. PST: Traditionally, AMC's results come out between 4:15 p.m. EST and 4:20 p.m. EST — in just about 10 or 15 minutes. The earnings call is scheduled for 5 p.m. EST, and you can listen to it here.
1:04 p.m. PST: Ok, so let's set some expectations for the next few minutes and couple of hours.
1:03 p.m. PST: Here's the chart for the day:
1:01 p.m. PST: Check out this last minute, partial recovery in AMC stock... down only 2.6%, after being lower 4% a couple minutes earlier!
1:00 p.m. PST: And here's the closing bell, everyone! Get ready for AMC's numbers to come out soon!
12:57 p.m. PST: AMC stock (AMC) - Get AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. Class A Report has done worse: -4% so far. But wait, anything can happen in after-hours trading, after the company announces full Q4 results.
12:55 p.m. PST: Hello, everyone! Welcome to live coverage of AMC's Q4 earnings day!
3:00 a.m. PST: We are now just awaiting AMC’s Q4 results! Check back a few minutes prior to the closing bell and join us for the live blog.