The pandemic hasn’t been easy for anyone, but it has been the toughest for AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC). The theatre chain has faced several problems over the past year, and after being a target of Reddit’s short squeeze, AMC stock has consistently been volatile.
The stock went from $2 to hit a high of $20 in January 2021 but has fallen since then. It continues to attract speculative interest and has risen significantly since the beginning of 2021. AMC stock is currently exchanging hands at $10.34, as of midday May 12, but I do not think the stock is worth your money nor your time. There is a lot going wrong for AMC and it may have been able to avoid bankruptcy, but its fundamentals are shaky. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the 3 reasons to avoid AMC stock.
AMC Entertainment recently reported the first quarter earnings and it incurred a loss of $567.2 million. Despite reopening most of its treaters, the company reported a loss of $1.42 a share which is higher than the $1.31 expected by the analysts. The revenue stood at $148.3 million which is a huge decline from the first quarter in 2020 while the cash balance was $813 million.
Even before the pandemic, the company’s business was flat. Even if we assume that moviegoers head to the theatres in the coming quarter, we must not expect impressive sales or revenue numbers.
It may take the entire year for the company to report strong revenue numbers. Considering the current capacity restraints, it is hard to expect the company to generate higher revenue and sales.
To survive the pandemic, AMC Entertainment has been burning a significant amount of cash and it has raised the cash through dilution. It may work well for the company but is harming the shareholders.
The company had earlier proposed the issue of 500 shares but scrapped it for the year and is planning to issue another 43 million shares. The company has quadrupled the share count in 2020. With each dilution, shareholders are losing value and investors are losing interest in the company. If AMC continues to dilute the shares, there will be fewer takers for AMC stock in the future because it is a no-win scenario for investors.
One cannot deny the fact that AMC Entertainment has stiff competition to handle. With a surge in OTT platforms and changing preferences of consumers, the theatre chain may not enjoy full movie rights from studios. Its biggest competition is with Disney (NYSE:DIS) who is making strong moves to continue using the Disney+ streaming service for new movies. It has entered into an agreement with Sony for the streaming of movies after the theatrical releases.
Consumers will be less willing to pay for a movie they can watch from the comfort of their homes. Several OTT platforms will be directly releasing movies without giving them a theatrical launch. Most of us are used to spending time at home and we have become accustomed to enjoying entertainment on our couches. Who would be willing to pay for a movie that is available at your home at your convenience?
The bottom line on AMC stock
If you are looking for a post-pandemic play, avoid AMC stock. There are several other options to consider.
Weak financials and changing consumer preferences make AMC a poor choice. The company will continue to face competition in the future, and will have to fight for a smaller number of customers to generate revenues. It could maintain a presence in the market and may even go high based on speculation, but it will not last long enough to generate higher revenues.
In short, avoid AMC stock this year.
On the date of publication, Vandita Jadeja did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.