The day after the Kansas City Royals won the World Series, the city’s AMC Entertainment reported Q3 earnings that Wall Streeters might look at as a mere bloop single.
The No. 2 exhibition chain reported net income of $12.2 million, up 65% vs the period last year, on revenues of $688.8 million, up 8.7%. But the sales figure fell short of analyst expectations for $690.7 million. And earnings at 12 cents a share missed the consensus target of 17 cents.
AMC shares fell about 1.8% in after-hours trading. They’re up about 5% so far in 2015.
“We are extremely pleased to report our strong third-quarter results, which we believe reflect the importance and success of our strategic focus to enhance the guest experience at our theatrers,” said interim CEO Craig Ramsey. With its ambitious rollout of recliner seats and other amenities, “the AMC guest experience differentiates us from our competition and is driving our third-quarter record $4.58 food and beverage revenue per patron and our 21% increase in Adjusted EBITDA. We are excited about what the future holds for AMC.”
Attendance at AMC’s 348 theaters with 4,937 screens improved 7.4% to 47.3 million. That indicates the average ticket buyer spent $9.33, based on the $441.3 million generated from admissions, up 5.7%.
Concessions spending at $216.8 million was up 14.7%.
Ramsey told analysts that the “prospects for a record fourth quarter and 2015 are promising,” especially with the December release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The chain’s first day sales for the movie beat its records by a factor of 10. AMC will run the movie 24/7 in at least 30 theaters.
The interim CEO says Star Wars will continue to boost next year’s first quarter. “The question is how much. I don’t have an answer to that. But I have high expectations.”