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Carmike rides boffo B.O. in earnings preview

SEC filing also reveals plans to seel 4 million new shares

In a preview of its upcoming quarterly earnings, exhib Carmike Cinemas gave a taste of the vastly improved box office so far this year.

Company said admissions revenue for the three months ended in March was $82 million-$84 million, way up from $61.3 million in the first quarter of 2011. Attendance of 12.1 million-12.3 million also surged from 9.4 million year over year. Carmike cautioned that it hasn’t technically closed the books on the quarter yet and the numbers could change.

It offered the figures in an SEC filing in which it announced plans to sell 4 million new shares and use the cash for general corporate purposes.

News sent the stock plunging after the market closed. The shares had closed up 0.21% at $14.53 but fell 7.43% in late trading. That’s because more shares outstanding dilute investor holdings, and lower a company’s earnings per share.

Carmike also said it continues to evaluate refinancing opportunities that would provide it with improved flexibility to meet its business objectives. The new financing could include debt securities, bank debt or other capital sources.

Carmike has 237 theatres with 2,254 screens in 35 states, mostly in small to mid-sized markets.

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