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AMC profits down for qtr.

An unexpectedly slow holiday season and awkward Christmas calendar dented third quarter profits at AMC Entertainment Inc., as the exhib’s net income dropped almost to $ 772,000 or 5 cents per share from $ 3.05 million or 19 cents per share a year ago.

Analysts had expected the drop, given what one called AMC’s “volume-sensitivity” to the slow B.O. of holiday features.

Quarterly operating cash flow, however, grew 19.8% to $ 19.6 million on a 25. 7% gain in revenues to $ 132.6 million.

For the nine months ended Dec. 30, net income added 384% to $ 12.5 million or 76 cents per share. Operating cash flow gained 76.8% to $ 74.6 million on a 46.3 % increase in revenues to $ 447.96 million.

Earnings from 444 screens reacquired from the Exhibition Enterprises Partnership are reported on a consolidated basis this fiscal year after being reported as investment income in 1993.

Kansas City, Mo.-based AMC cited the disappointing performance of holiday releases last year compared to the blockbuster hits of 1992, including “Aladdin” and “The Bodyguard.” It also noted that Christmas Eve and Christmas fell on Friday and Saturday — normally high-attendance days — but said cost-cutting strategies designed to lower its break-even point were working.

Chief financial officer Peter Brown said, however, that while this quarter’s attendance began steady with last year, it is currently “up pretty substantially over” year-ago levels.

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