AMC Theaters may be headed for bankruptcy and what that means

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AMC_theatresWall Street analysts at MKM Partners wrote on Thursday, April 9th, “Based on our view that theatres will be closed until at least August and our belief that AMC lacks the liquidity to stay afloat until that time, we expect the company will soon be faced with filing for bankruptcy.” He downgraded AMC Theatres stock from “neutral” to “sell.”

The report adds: Even if AMC is able to tap government bailout funds the company’s high leverage ratio — with $4.75 billion in debt — will make for tough sledding… thus making a reorganization inevitable.”

Don’t Panic

Bankruptcy doesn’t mean out of business. It’s a way for a company to protect itself from going out of business while it restructures. If AMC Theaters does indeed file bankruptcy, then for sure things will change, and some theaters may not reopen, but in some fashion or another, the USA’s largest theater chain will be showing movies again when it’s safe.

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The bigger question is: when will theaters reopen and what will that look like? I don’t think anyone expects a packed theater on August 14th for the Wonder Woman 1984 premier. But if not, then what will it be like? My guess is theaters will sell at most 1/2 of the seats for each showing — maybe less. So it might be the case that WW1984 is the only movie showing at some theaters. Strange days for sure.

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