Movie theater ad sales were up, but the Fathom Events business — which offers concerts and other alternative programming for exhibition companies — took a breather in the quarter that ended in June. Due to its debt refinancing efforts, National CineMedia ended the period with a $1.9M net loss, down from a $9M profit last year, on revenues of $110.1M, -3.4%. That revenue figure is a little ahead of the $108.5M analysts expected. Without the costs from the debt restructuring, earnings would have come in at 13 cents a share, a penny ahead of projections. National CineMedia says that it sold $101.3M in ads, +2.7%. That includes $10.2M in advertising beverage revenue from the exhibition chains that back it including AMC Entertainment, Cinemark, and Regal. But the gain in ad sales was offset by Fathom Events’ 42.9% drop in revenues to $8.8M. Management reaffirmed its forecast that the company will end the year with as much as $470M in revenue. It also unveiled a 22 cents a share dividend which it says it intends to pay “for the foreseeable future.”
National CineMedia needs to keep shareholders happy: Last year its stock “was hit on a big 4Q12 guidance whiff, so we expect guidance here to be conservative, and that to be greeted positively,” Lazard Capital Markets analyst Barton Crockett says. CEO Kurt Hall didn’t comment on earnings in the company report. Like many exhibition executives this earnings season, he used the platform to express sympathy for the theater shooting victims in Aurora. “Our Company and our employees stand ready to help in any way that we can as our community begins the recovery process from this horrific event,” he says.