AMC posts upbeat results as people return to theaters

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“F9: The Fast Saga” – the latest installment of the “Fast and Furious” series – and “Godzilla vs Kong” gave AMC much-needed relief from the blows it has taken from the pandemic over the past year due to theater closures.

“In short, AMC crushed it in Q2,” Chief Executive Officer Adam Aron said on a conference call.

Aron added that AMC will have the technology in place to receive payment in bitcoin by the end of the year as payment for movie tickets and concessions.

Nearly all of AMC’s theaters reopened during the quarter as more people got vaccinated and pandemic-related curbs were eased.

AMC’s CEO said that U.S. ticket revenue so far in the third quarter was on track to reach 45% of the same quarter in 2019 and was up from 29% for the second quarter.

“That trend line is pointing up. We certainly have a way to go but the progress is clear.”

Ticket sales at the world’s largest theater chain are still far off what it was raking in two years ago, with film release cycles yet to pick up and the threat of the Delta variant of the coronavirus hanging over audiences.

Revenue at the company, one of the “meme stocks” at the center of a boom in small-time investing this year, rose 19% to $444.7 million in the quarter ended June 30. Analysts on average had expected $382.1 million, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

(For graphic on AMC Entertainment – https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/zgpomwxgjpd/Pasted%20image%201628527450371.png)

AMC raised another $1.25 billion of new equity capital in the quarter, taking AMC’s quarter-ending liquidity to more than $2 billion.

Excluding items, the company posts a loss of 71 cents per share, much smaller than analysts’ expectation of 91 cents.