AMC Entertainment Doesn’t Have Momentum as It Heads Into Earnings

Stocks to sell

If I was investing in AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC), I would want to have a little bit of momentum headed into the first quarter earnings report. But that’s not happening. First and foremost, I’m not going to be buying AMC stock any time soon. And second, there’s no momentum to be had for the movie theater chain turned meme-stock darling.

The box office returns for the last weekend tell a bleak story. Animated flick The Bad Guys led the way by grossing $16.2 million Friday through Sunday, and that was down 32% from its debut the previous week.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 came in second with $11.5 million, then Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore was third with $8.3 million in only its third weekend of release. Both were also down significantly from the prior week.

Let’s be honest. None of these movies are tearing up the box office because people aren’t interested in spending money at theaters on overpriced popcorn and soda for middling entertainment. They would rather stay home and stream something from the comfort of their own couches.

Now, that should change next weekend when a potential blockbuster like Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness makes its long-awaited debut. But that’s not going to help the company when it posts its earning for the first quarter on May 5.

Analysts are now expecting revenue of $736.2 million when the company posts earnings this week. That would be up nearly 400% from a year ago now that people are coming back to the theater – as long as there’s something good to watch. Consensus earnings per share (EPS) estimates are for a loss of 68 cents, and that would be an improvement of 52% from a year ago.

AMC stock is up about 2% so far today. And yes, it could see a mild pop in price later this week if it’s able to beat those estimates. It could even see some sustained momentum if executives are able to forecast ticket sales from Doctor Strange and other blockbusters this year.

But all in all, my position on AMC stock hasn’t changed. This is a name to avoid.

On the date of publication, Patrick Sanders did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Patrick Sanders is a freelance writer and editor in Maryland, and from 2015 to 2019 was head of the investment advice section at U.S. News & World Report. Follow him on Twitter at @1patricksanders.

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