AMC Entertainment loss exceeds analyst estimates

shares tumble 21%

July 23, 2002|By BLOOMBERG NEWS

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Shares of AMC Entertainment Inc. fell 21 percent yesterday after the company reported a bigger fiscal first-quarter loss than analysts had estimated. The loss was the result of a $19.8 million expense from forgiving loans to two executives.

The shares fell $2.35 to $8.80 and are down 27 percent for the year.

AMC, the second-biggest publicly traded U.S. movie-theater chain, said its loss in the quarter that ended June 27 was $875,000, or 28 cents a share. The average estimate of five analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial/First Call was loss of 18 cents a share. The company earned $11.9 million, or 61 cents a share, in the year-earlier quarter.

AMC forgave $6.9 million in a loan and interest to Peter Brown, chairman and chief executive officer. The company forgave $3.6 million in a loan and interest to Philip Singleton, chief operating officer, according to a regulatory filing. AMC will pay income taxes the men will incur as a result, bringing the expense to $19.8 million, Chief Financial Officer Craig Ramsey said during a conference call.

The loans were forgiven as a reward for the company's performance in recent years, according to the filing and Ramsey. The company's shares tripled last year to $12 from $4. Twelve of AMC's competitors have filed for bankruptcy protection in the past two years because of overbuilding.

AMC's revenue rose 49 percent to $461.6 million from $309.8 million. The per-share results reflect the payment of preferred dividends.

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