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MoviePass Parent Company Cancels Stock Split, Nasdaq Delisting Likely

Helios & Matheson Analytics Inc., the parent company of MoviePass, is canceling a stock split that it had hoped would reinvigorate its moribund share price.

In a public filing, Helios said it did not have the votes it needed to gain approval for a 1-for-500 reverse stock split while warning that it faced being delisted on the Nasdaq. The stock is currently trading at less than 2 cents a share and the company needs to bolster its share price to a minimum of $1 by Dec. 18.

MoviePass, a subscription movie-ticketing service, was a phenomenon after slashing its monthly prices in August of 2017 from $50 to $9.95. Demand far outpaced the company’s abilities to pay for its movie-a-day proposition, as MoviePass’ subscription rolls swelled from 20,000 to roughly 3 million customers. As the company ran low on cash, it changed the terms of its usage, limiting customers to fewer movies a month. Helios also undertook a 1-to-250 reverse split in late July, which pushed its shares above $20 for a fleeting moment, before gravity took hold and they plunged back to the danger zone.

The vote on the second split had originally scheduled to be held on Oct. 18, but was later postponed to Nov. 14.

Helios’ problems don’t end with its finances. Last month, the New York Attorney General announced it had launched an investigation into whether the company misled investors. Helios has said that it believes its public disclosures have been “complete, timely and truthful” and denied any wrongdoing. The company is also named in a lawsuit filed Aug. 13 on behalf of shareholder Jeffrey Braxton in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleging the company deceived investors.

MoviePass has successfully introduced the concept of subscription ticketing into the domestic marketplace. Cinemark and AMC have begun to offer their own competitive programs, but there are also signs of issues with some of their programs. AMC, for instance, recently hiked the price of its monthly subscription service in certain states.

“Our decision to keep the AMC Stubs A-List monthly price unchanged in 35 states, along with only a modest price adjustment in some key markets going in place in early 2019 will keep us in that sweet spot of successfully balancing profits and popularity,” AMC CEO and president Adam Aron said in a statement.

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