Insights

Why AMC Entertainment Is Down When the Market Is Up

What happened

Shares of AMC Entertainment (NYSE: AMC) are starting the new week just as they ended the last one: heading down. The movie theater owner’s stock is down 3.8% at 11 a.m. ET on Monday on no news specific to the company and even though the Dow Jones Industrial Average is ticking higher today.

So what

AMC’s stock had jumped last week after the company announced it bought back $72.5 million worth of debt at a 31% discount, but seemingly once the reality set in that the amount was insignificant compared with its total outstanding long-term debt of $5.5 billion, AMC’s stock resumed its slide.

Shares of the theater operator are now 10% below where they were before the debt repurchase was announced and stand about where they were two weeks ago.

Now what

AMC has benefited from some blockbuster movies that have brought moviegoers back to the theater, like Top Gun: Maverick, which has brought in over $1.2 billion worldwide, and Thor: Love and Thunder, which has generated almost $600 million since its release earlier this month.

Yet theater attendance overall is still significantly below pre-pandemic levels and the industry has been fighting the steady erosion of moviegoers. Especially in the age of ubiquitous video streaming, it’s going to be a hard trend to fight.

Netflix, for example, lost almost 1 million subscribers last quarter, but says they’ll be recouped in the current period. But to protect against further losses, the streamer is investing in more quality programming, such as The Gray Man, which just released on the service.

It’s a movie with an all-star cast and a big budget that could have easily been shown on the big screen, but Netflix is investing in its platform, as are other streaming services, which will be a headwind AMC Entertainment ultimately may find difficult to overcome. 

Rich Duprey has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Netflix. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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