AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. (NYSE: AMC) seemed like the cat with nine lives. It suffered through downturns in the movie industry brought on by a host of things, including a lack of blockbuster movies, COVID-19 effects on audience sizes, and balance sheet troubles. Along the way, it became a stock that investors drove up and down by extreme amounts. According to a new evaluation by a large brokerage firm, the stock is worth $0.95 a share. Shares now trade for about $6 apiece.
Credit Suisse analysts believe that whatever recovery AMC might have, now that the spread of COVID-19 is not as deadly as it was 18 months ago, is over. AMC staged an insane rally to over $60 in June 2021. It dropped quickly to $30 and has been on a downward trajectory since then.
AMC has raised several hundred million dollars. It is only fair to acknowledge that. And its management says that, despite a period when sales will be slow, it expects a strong recovery. This is based on, among other things, the belief that several blockbuster movies will be released late this year. Nevertheless, the company lost $122 million in the most recently reported quarter.
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The thesis behind the ongoing trouble at AMC relies largely on the consumer’s move to streaming. People have moved to such services as Amazon and Netflix. These services have proliferated and include Hulu, Disney+, Apple+ and offerings from several other large media companies. They have millions of subscribers in the United States and have reached the level that the average American household pays for three or four of them. People can only afford so much entertainment. Streaming has sucked all the air out of the movie’s consumer room.
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Make no mistake that AMC could hang on for years. However, over that period, it has no means to recover to the point where it becomes a highly successful business. Ultimately, the habits of consumers will drive its shares to penny stock levels.
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