Profits rose 361% to $28.3 million, while earnings per share for the period of 29 cents bested the 6 cents a share that AMC posted in the year-ago period. Earnings beat Wall Street projections, but sales fell short. Consensus estimates were for the country’s second largest theater chain to record $770 million in revenue on earnings of 21 cents a share.
Admissions receipts hit $482.6 million, up from $418.7 million, goosed by an average ticket price that rose 7 cents to $9.42. AMC has invested heavily in expanding menu items in recent years beyond the popcorn and soda staples. The culinary innovations paid off during the first three months of 2016. Concessions reached a record $244.2 million, compared to $200.5 million for the prior-year quarter. On a per patron basis, food and beverage spending rose 6.3% to $4.76, another high-water mark for the company.
It was an eventful quarter for AMC. The company announced in March that it had reached a deal to buy Carmike Cinemas for $1.1 billion. If the pact closes and receives regulatory approval, AMC will become the largest theater chain in the United States and in the world.
The exhibitor’s stock was up 3.26% at $29.15 in pre-market trading.