Exhibition industry investors are raising the question today after the No. 1 chain whiffed in its Q4 earnings report last night. Revenues and earnings fell short of expectations. But many are particularly concerned about the disclosure that attendance per screen fell 7.8% in Q4 to 7,336. (Revenues still increased, helped by a 4.7% jump in the average outlay for a ticket — to $9.28 — mostly from people willing to pay extra to see Gravity in 3D.) The report chilled some investors: Exhibition stocks are lagging the overall market, which is up, with Regal -1.5% in afternoon trading. The weak attendance number feeds into the concern that 2014 will be a blah year at the box office. Although Q1 results are tracking ahead of expectations “we are projecting a modest 1% decline for the year with an especially difficult summer comparison,” MKM Partners’ Eric Handler says. Short interest — the number of investors betting that a stock will go down — “has increased to 16.7M shares, representing 19 days of average volume,” Benchmark Co analyst Mike Hickey notes. But Janney Capital Markets’ Tony Wible says things may be better than Regal’s Q4 numbers suggest. The year end results “may have been skewed” by the launch of Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s XBox One game consoles. They “sold more units in their first day than they did over almost 2-3 months with their prior console launches,” he says. “If true, the box office may be healthier than appreciated.” What’s more, he’s “shocked that the box office has done so well in the face of horrible East Coast weather conditions.”
Was Regal’s Weak Q4 Attendance A Sign Of A Worrisome Trend, Or Just A Blip?
What's Hot on Deadline
Billy Bob Thornton, Carla Juri & Charlie Hunnam Join Aaron Taylor-Johnson In 'A Million Little Pieces'
Latest Business News
- Bradford Dillman Dies: Star Of Broadway, Film And TV Was 87
- Super Bowl Ad Rates Have Soared 87% In 10 Years Even With More Clutter: Study
- Los Angeles Makes Amazon’s Shortlist For HQ2
- Bill Cosby Prosecutors Petition To Allow Testimony From 19 More Accusers
- Snap Lays Off Fewer Than Two Dozen Employees In Staff Realignment
- Los Angeles Times Parent Tronc Launches Investigation Of Publisher Ross Levinsohn Amid Sexual Harassment Claims