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Top exhibitor AMC Entertainment rode the box office revival in the second quarter, beating Wall Street forecasts and returning to profitability.
The company posted total revenue of $1.348 billion, up almost 16% from a year ago, and swung to a profit of 1 cent a share from a loss of 12 cents in the 2022 quarter. Analysts had expected revenue of $1.29 billion and a loss of 4 cents a share. Shares in the theater owner gained 4% in pre-market trading, hitting $5.35.
While the second quarter, ending June 30, did not include the sizzling month of July and the Barbenheimer phenomenon, it did see improving fortunes for theater owners as their post-Covid comeback attempt continues. AMC said attendance in the quarter gained 12% year-on-year to hit 66.4 million. Total domestic box office rose 22% over 2022 levels through the end of July, topping $6 billion.
AMC Entertainment executives will discuss the quarterly results after the close of trading Tuesday on a conference call with Wall Street analysts.
In the company’s earnings release, CEO Adam Aron said the company raised $34 million of cash during the quarter via the sale of preferred equity “APE” units, paying down $42 million of debt.
Citing the impact of the writers and actors strikes, which have thrown yet another wrench into theaters’ comeback story, Aron said last month the circuit could run out of cash if it isn’t able to raise equity capital. “The risk of financial collapse is not whimsical,” he wrote in an open letter to investors in the wake of a court ruling placing limits on AMC’s maneuverability.