AMC Raises $100M From Debt Issuance; Shares Pop 32%

Shares of AMC Entertainment spiked 32% after the cash-strapped theater chain issued $100 million in debt. The stock surged another 8% in Tuesday’s after-market trading.  

Specifically, AMC (AMC) reported that it raised $100 million in aggregate principal amount of first lien secured notes due 2026. The debt sale comes after the theater operator received a commitment letter from current debtholder Mudrick Capital. The US Bank National Association served as trustee and collateral agent.

The notes will bear cash interest at a rate of 15% per year payable semi-annually starting on July 15. Interest for the first three interest periods after the issue date may be paid in payment-in-kind interest at a rate of 17% per annum. The notes will mature on April 24, 2026.

AMC may redeem some or all of the notes at any time on or after January 15, 2023. In addition, the company has an option to redeem up to 35% of the aggregate principal amount of the debt using net proceeds from equity offerings on or prior to January 15, 2023.

AMC shares have been hit hard and have tanked 58% over the past year, as the theater operator has been grappling with the financial fallout from the pandemic-led closures of its businesses. (See AMC stock analysis on TipRanks)

The theater operator warned last month that it expects its existing cash reserves to run out during January 2021. To remain viable through 2021, AMC estimated that it would need at least $750 million of additional liquidity to fund its cash requirements.

Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter, who recently reiterated a Hold rating on the stock with a $2.50 price target, doesn’t expect theater attendance levels to begin to normalize until mid-2021.

“AMC remains the highest risk in the exhibition space given its high debt and low available liquidity, resulting in a higher probability that the company will ultimately need to restructure,” Pachter commented in a note to investors. “Should AMC make it through the next several months – until a vaccine is widely distributed – it will certainly be in a difficult position as it then faces substantially more debt to repay than when the pandemic began. It will be years before AMC is able to revisit its prior growth strategy, in our view.”

Meanwhile, the rest of the Street is taking a cautiously bearish outlook on the stock. The Moderate Sell consensus shows 4 recent Holds versus 2 Sells. Looking ahead, the average analyst price target stands at $2.51 and implies 18% downside potential over the coming year.

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