AMC Theatres Faces Existential Threat From Coronavirus Shutdown: ‘I Don’t See How They Survive’

·1 min read

AMC Theatres, the nation’s largest movie theater chain with more than 630 venues in the U.S., faces an existential threat after the coronavirus pandemic forced the company to close all of its theaters in the U.S. and U.K. for the next six to 12 weeks. The debt-laden exhibitor’s stock price has plummeted 83% in the last year, finishing Tuesday’s trading session below $3 a share as its market cap has shrunk to just $271 million. All of this raises questions about whether it will still be left standing when the dust of COVID-19 eventually settles. “I don’t see how they survive this,” said Eric Schiffer, CEO of private equity firm The Patriarch Organization. And B.Riley FBR analyst Eric Wold on Wednesday downgraded AMC’s stock from a buy rating to neutral and cut the price target to $3.50 from $13. AMC was in a precarious state even before the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than $5 billion in debt at the end of 2019 and losses of $149 million for the year (after recording a $110 million profit in 2018). During the company’s most recent fourth quarter conference call, AMC CEO Adam Aron said that he and other top executives had agreed...

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