AMC CEO Adam Aron eyes 2023 surge in theatrical releases, touts ‘path to eventual recovery from pandemic’

AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc.’s path to recovery will be helped by an increase in theatrical releases this year, according to CEO Adam Aron, who noted that 35 percent more films will be released in 2023 than in 2022, as The film-theater industry attempts to recover from the COVID-19 related slowdown.

“The articles citing so-called experts who think streaming theaters are fatal are SO fundamentally wrong,” Aron tweeted on Friday. “So wrong. Our problem is that the major studios released far fewer movies in 2021 and 2022 than in pre-pandemic years. Luckily, compared to 2022, the number of movies increased by about 35% in 2023!”

The stock finished Friday’s session down 8.6% versus the S&P 500’s SPX,
0.22% gain. The company’s stock is down 55.1% in the past 12 months, outpacing the S&P 500 index’s 7.4% decline.

Related: AMC’s new ticket pricing based on seat location isn’t the answer, says the research organization

“On a lighter note, I mentioned earlier that the number of theatrical releases in 2023 will be 35% higher than in ’22. It is SO important to AMC’s path to eventual recovery from the pandemic,” he added, in a later tweet on Saturday.

Aron also discussed his equity stake in the cinema chain and its AMC Preferred Equity APE,
unit on Friday. He tweeted last month that he is AMC’s largest retail shareholder.

“It continues to amaze and confuse me that some out there assume I’m not on the side of retail investors,” he tweeted. “I will say it again and again. I own or have an economic interest in millions of AMC shares and APE shares. I am a retail shareholder. Of course I’m on your side!

See: AMC sells stake in Saudi Arabian joint venture, switches to licensing partnership

Aron sold more than $40 million of AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. stock between November 2021 and January 2022.

The CEO, who has led the cinema chain since 2016, is an avid Twitter user for connecting with the retail investors who have turned AMC into a meme phenomenon. A fan of bizarre memes and tweets, Aron has amassed more than 291,000 followers on the platform.

AMC has been on a roller coaster ride over the past couple of years that has taken it from beleaguered pandemic victim to meme stock phenomenon. The company used the sharp rise in its stock price to tap into the equity and debt markets, raising $917 million in January 2021.

Related: AMC’s APE conversion is ‘huge’ opportunity to write off debt and drive expansion, says analyst

In an SEC filing last week, AMC announced it has repurchased $365 million of debt since the start of 2022.

“We still have a long way to go along those lines, but you know the old saying, ‘Slow and steady wins the race,'” Aron tweeted.

In November, AMC reported its 12th consecutive quarterly loss. The company’s sales were $968.4 million, compared with $763.2 million in the same period last year. AMC exited the fiscal third quarter with $5.325 billion in debt and $684.6 million in cash and cash equivalents.

Now read: “Avatar” ticket sales are better than expected, says AMC CEO Adam Aron

The company is engaged in a battle to eliminate the debt burden. In a filing with the SEC last month, AMC announced a special meeting of shareholders to increase AMC’s authorized number of shares from just over 524 million to 550 million and authorize a 1-in-10 reverse split of the company’s common stock. by converting the APEs into shares of common stock. The extraordinary meeting of shareholders is scheduled for March 14, 2023, according to the SEC filing.

AMC describes itself as the largest movie theater company in the world, with approximately 950 theaters and 10,500 screens worldwide.

Of the seven analysts polled by FactSet, three have a hold rating and four have a sell rating for AMC.

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